Norwich City boss to shuffle pack
David Cuffley Manager Paul Lambert looks set for another defensive reshuffle tomorrow as Norwich City bid for their sixth win in seven League One games.
Manager Paul Lambert looks set for another defensive reshuffle tomorrow as Norwich City bid for their sixth win in seven League One games.
The Canaries take on Tranmere Rovers at Carrow Road (3pm) - only their second home match in six weekends - hoping that left-back Adam Drury has recovered from the sore knee that forced him to miss the Johnstone's Paint Trophy tie at Swindon on Tuesday.
If Drury is fit, he seems certain to return in place of Rhoys Wiggins. And with right-back Jon Otsemobor substituted after less than an hour at the County Ground on his return from a hamstring injury, to keep him fresh for tomorrow, he is set for his first league outing since the 2-1 defeat at Leeds nearly four weeks ago.
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It would leave Lambert to decide between Gary Doherty and Michael Nelson, skipper at Swindon, for central defensive duties alongside Jens Berthel Askou.
“We are waiting until they have trained today to see how they all are,” said Lambert, who made nine changes in midweek.
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Askou has emerged as the rock in the City defence. He has not missed a game since being left out for Lambert's second match in charge against Sunderland in the Carling Cup, playing 15 consecutive matches in all competitions.
“Unlike the others, Jens has not picked up any knocks although he did cut his head open in training,” said Lambert. “He's been playing ever since we came in and he's done really, really fine.”
Skipper Grant Holt, top scorer with 14 goals, and midfielder Simon Lappin are available again tomorrow after they each served a one-match suspension.
Tranmere caretaker boss Les Parry - his team second from bottom with just one win and two goals in seven away games - is likely to recall Gareth Edds at right-back in place of the suspended Shay Logan.
Parry is also expected to restore on-loan Liverpool goalkeeper David Martin to the starting line-up. Martin was not available for FA Cup duty against Leyton Orient last Saturday, but is set to replace Luke Daniels.
Paul McLaren is earmarked for a return in midfield as Rovers prepare for three away matches in eight days.
“We're going to be the Harlem Globetrotters over the next week or so with a trip to Norwich followed by two trips to Orient,” said Parry.
“But Norwich is a lovely place to go. It's a lovely ground and there'll be a great atmosphere. And that makes up for the long trip.
“They're a good team. I'm sure they'll think they are at the very least an upper Championship club and the support they get would reflect that.
“But it's a good challenge for our lads and if we can win our personal battles then we have a chance of coming away with something.”