Norwich City seek loan aid

Chris Lakey Paul Lambert will sign a defender on loan before the weekend trip to Nottingham Forest after revealing that Michael Nelson is out 'for quite a long time' with an ankle injury.

Chris Lakey

Paul Lambert will sign a defender on loan before the weekend trip to Nottingham Forest after revealing that Michael Nelson is out “for quite a long time” with an ankle injury.

Nelson suffered ligament damage in the final minutes of Saturday's home win over Swansea and missed last night's 3-1 Carling Cup second round defeat at Premier League Blackburn.

With Zak Whitbread also out with a calf injury it leaves Lambert with just two fit recognised central defenders in Jens Berthel Askou - scorer of last night's consolation - and summer signing Elliott Ward, who had formed the first choice partnership with Nelson.

Lambert has always baulked at the use of the loan system, but his hand has been forced.

“He (Nelson) is going to be out for a few weeks,” said Lambert. “He will be out for quite a long time.

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“We will try and get somebody in and hopefully Michael will be back sooner or later.

“I can't buy anybody so we will need to get somebody on loan - we have only really had Fraser (Forster) so this one will be a loan if it comes off.”

Lambert left Adam Drury and Andrew Crofts out of his travelling party because of slight knocks and admitted that foremost in his mind was the Championship, and Saturday's trip to Forest.

Young full-back George Francomb came in to the starting line-up, but Drury's absence meant Russell Martin had to switch to left-back, while Declan Rudd made his first senior appearance of the campaign in place of John Ruddy, who was rested on the bench.

There were seven changes in all - with Lambert giving action to some of his fringe players to ensure they are ready when called upon.

A hat-trick from Mame Biram Diouf - on loan from Manchester United - won the game for Blackburn, but Lambert said he was proud of his side.

“We did everything we could to win the game,” said Lambert. “We made a lot of changes and some of the young kids coming in were really pleasing and I thought we played well in certain parts of the game.

“You can tell they are a major threat at set-pieces and we got hurt with the first one but the good thing was we kept on going and had chances ourselves. Their goalkeeper made some good saves, albeit we had a bit of luck with them hitting the bar and the post, but I thought we did okay.”

There were signs of the inexperience of youth, but Lambert knows that the Carling Cup presents the best opportunity to blood them in a senior environment.

“If you don't play them they won't learn and I am all for giving the young ones a chance,” Lambert said. “I have got to see them and I thought the two of them were excellent, terrific and you have young Korey (Smith) sitting there on the bench who has been a big player for me. When you look at that the club has got some really good youngsters.

“I think it is important for their development as well and it will stand the club in good stead in years to come. Some of the players haven't played, minutes-wise, so it was normal that they were going to feel it, but the thing was we never capitulated, we kept on going.

“Their keeper made a terrific save from Grant (Holt) at 1-0 and he made a great save from Stephen Hughes. The pleasing thing is a lot of lads who haven't had a lot of game time played and some of the young ones coming through.”

Blackburn manager Sam Allardyce added: “We made hard work of it to be honest. I thought we had already had many chances to get the second goal before we finally got it and it was a really good performance and a comfortable victory.

“Diouf scored three very good goals but could have scored more than that - the easiest one he missed when he headed it on to the bar.”