Tudur Jones can be City's towering force - Roberts

Norwich City legend Iwan Roberts yesterday backed fellow Welshman Owain Tudur Jones to play a major role in Paul Lambert's League One promotion battleplan.

Norwich City legend Iwan Roberts yesterday backed fellow Welshman Owain Tudur Jones to play a major role in Paul Lambert's League One promotion battleplan.

The former Swansea midfielder made his long awaited comeback from a calf injury in City's midweek reserve win at Northampton.

Lambert was in attendance at Sixfields to get his first competitive glimpse of the powerful playmaker - and Roberts is convinced Tudur Jones will soon force his way into the Scot's starting line-up.

"I just wish him an injury-free run now," said Roberts. "He had a bad time with injuries at Swansea as well so to pick up another one so soon after joining Norwich would have been tough for the lad. I actually spoke to him at one of the Welsh international get togethers when Norwich were rumoured to be interested. I told him if he got the chance to go then he shouldn't think twice - to play in front of sell out crowds every other home game in a superb stadium. I told him Norwich was a fantastic place to go and enjoy his football.

"At that level he can be an important player. I'm not sure of his best position. He can play at the back and also do that holding role in midfield but he has an eye for goal. You don't have too many central midfielders who are 6ft 3in or so with that ability to break into the box."

Roberts is confident the Canaries can get back to winning ways against Swindon tomorrow after the heartache of Monday's self-inflicted late League One defeat at Leeds. The Welshman has fond memories of the Robins' fixture after scoring in City's last home win over Swindon ten years ago.

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"Is it that long? I can't believe how quickly the time goes," he said. "I actually do remember going around the keeper and slotting it in and then Paul Hughes got the winner.

"I think Norwich need to treat the Leeds game as just a blip. I thought they played ever so well, especially second half, and should never have got beaten.

"They would have been devastated to lose that game but Leeds is a tough place to go and not many sides will run them that close. Paul Lambert has done well to get them in the play-off places and I see the goal difference is now positive which is some achievement after what happened in that first game. Believe me, that could be very crucial as the season progresses."

Roberts expects Lambert to freshen up his squad in the January window despite City's limited budget.

"I don't know what the strength in depth is like but I'm sure he would like to bring one or two," said Roberts. "He has been working with Bryan Gunn's squad and really inherited those players.

"I'm sure when he took the job he would have said to the board he wants to shake it up in January and bring some cover in - otherwise why would you have left Colchester and the job he was doing there?

"With injuries and suspensions it's a long old haul. The young lads have done really well but you can't rely on them all season because at some point they have to have a dip."

Roberts was highly critical of Gunn's swift exit in the wake of City's opening day humiliation at the hands of Lambert's Colchester - but believes his friend will eventually return to the game after a sour end to his Norwich reign.

"He's an absolute gent and it must have been so hard for him at the time," said Roberts.

"I have the utmost respect for Gunny because he has kept a dignified silence and never really talked about what happened.

"If I'd heard some of the things people had said I don't think I could have kept quiet but it's a mark of the man. He has a lot of friends in football, none bigger than Sir Alex Ferguson, so I'm sure he can get back in if he wants to.

"He would probably find it a huge wrench to leave Norfolk. I know I did after seven years and it would be even worse for him."