Third round prize will be enough to focus City

Michael Bailey Norwich City will make the long trip north to Carlisle today in the hope of booking their place in the FA Cup third round draw - and a possible plum tie.

Michael Bailey

Norwich City will make the long trip north to Carlisle today in the hope of booking their place in the FA Cup third round draw - and a possible plum tie.

Canaries fans will hope their reward for embarking on the 600-mile round trip to Cumbria for a second time in less than two months will be a place in the hat alongside the Premier League big boys.

And after manager Paul Lambert made sure he fielded a full strength side in the first round mismatch at non-league Paulton Rovers, it is almost certain the Scot will take today's game seriously as well - especially with a possible draw against one of the biggest names in football at stake.


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"I think in any cup run you want to try and get as far as you can, and if we can get through this and we do get a big one it would be brilliant for us," said Lambert. "If we got a Manchester United or a Manchester City or a Chelsea, Arsenal, anybody in that Premier League is a massive game for us to get.

"The money would help the club out, that's for sure, and that's the main thing. But for prestige and the lads putting themselves up against world class players, it would be great.

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"It's a hard game (at Carlisle), there's no pressure on either team regarding league points so it's a totally different game from the other week when we played them.

"But then the pressure is on us to win another game because of the following we'll take up there and the run we're on, so hopefully we'll go through."

Norwich's first-team squad has had plenty of long trips to bond with each other - journeys that usually include long games of Monopoly - and Lambert believes spending so much time travelling on the team coach has helped bring them closer together.

He said: "It might well do, there seems to be a good spirit there at the minute and they're winning games, which helps. But they're a good group and they don't give me a lot of problems, and if you get on well together it certainly helps you."

This evening's game will already boost the coffers of both teams by �67,500, thanks to it being selected by the FA for live coverage on its website.

The game will be streamed live a www.thefa.com from kick-off, which has been put back to 5.15pm this evening to make way for the coverage.

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