Shoot-out over striker's role at City
David Cuffley The battle is on to partner Grant Holt in the Norwich City attack - with at least four strikers pressing their claims for inclusion in Monday's televised League One match at MK Dons.
The battle is on to partner Grant Holt in the Norwich City attack - with at least four strikers pressing their claims for inclusion in Monday's televised League One match at MK Dons.
With Holt, leading scorer and currently manager Paul Lambert's choice as skipper, looking a certain starter at stadium mk, the choice of his right-hand man is less clear.
The 34-year-old Jamie Cureton has started each of Lambert's three league games in charge and won praise from the boss for his efforts, but has failed to score and has been substituted in all three.
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Chris Martin underlined his claims for a recall with the only goal in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy win over Brentford last week but the 20-year-old did not get on to the field in Saturday's goalless draw against Walsall.
Cody McDonald has yet to start a first team game under Lambert but has come off the bench in all his five matches in charge. He has not scored, however, since the disastrous 7-1 opening day defeat by Lambert's Colchester.
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The outside bet is Serbian capture Goran Maric, who, like Martin, scored in City Reserves' 5-0 win over Southend on Tuesday but has featured just once since the new boss arrived, against Brentford.
Luke Daley, 19, has also figured in the last four matches, including his first senior start for the club against Sunderland in the Carling Cup.
The 23-year-old McDonald knows there is no lack of competition but, provided Lambert perseveres with the 4-4-2 formation used in his three league games so far, there is just one spot available.
“There is a big place up for grabs in the first team,” he said. “It is frustrating, but that's part and parcel of football.
“They're not just going to have two strikers here that play every time. There is big competition and basically when we get the chance we've got to take it. That's the competition we face.”
McDonald would relish the opportunity to return to the starting line-up alongside Holt after three matches when they were paired in attack before Lambert took over.
“He is a very good talker and obviously playing with someone like Grant with the experience that he's had at playing at this level of football really helps,” he said. “Thankfully when you get the chance to play alongside someone like Grant it is good for me.
“Everyone is playing well in the club at the minute and there's a real confidence around the place.”
McDonald believes the Colchester humiliation can now be consigned to the history books.
“That was something we hope we won't see again, the 7-1, and I don't think we will see it again,” he said. “That game is far behind us now. A new manager has come in and he's really stamped his authority around the place and there is a real good look around the pace at the minute and I think we're going to have a good season.
“A few things have been different around the place, but our job is to come and play football and that's all we want to do, to come here and do well and finally things are coming together and it looks likely we are starting to do that.”