Video: Norwich boss Lambert wants one more by Sunday
Chris Lakey Paul Lambert is targeting one more new face arriving at Carrow Road before City head off to Europe on Sunday for a private training camp.The Canaries boss filled the number one shirt this week with the arrival of goalkeeper John Ruddy, but it's at the other end of the pitch where he is looking to strengthen.
Paul Lambert is targeting one more new face arriving at Carrow Road before City head off to Europe on Sunday for a private training camp.
The Canaries boss filled the number one shirt this week with the arrival of goalkeeper John Ruddy, but it's at the other end of the pitch where he is looking to strengthen.
The man strongly rumoured to be on his hit list is Gillingham striker Simeon Jackson, but the Kent club say they have yet to receive an acceptable offer for the 23-year-old.
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“We will try and get one more in,” said Lambert yesterday. “If we can do it, great, if not, it's fine, but I will try everything I can to do it.”
Gillingham chairman Paul Scally is refusing to do business until he receives what he calls a “credible offer” for Jackson, who has a year remaining on his contract.
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“He is worth money, but it's a question of what he is worth,” said Scally. “We've had no credible offers so far. He's a great lad and we would wish him well if he did ever leave.
“We also know he has an opportunity to play at a higher level and he would be foolish not to want to play at a higher level, despite our wishes to keep him here.
“It's a bit of a balancing act and that is where the skill of the board comes in. We have never stood in someone's way who wants to move on and clearly he wants to play at a higher level, as will most of the team, and clearly he knows there is interest from some clubs. We just have to wait and see how the weeks progress.”
Lambert sold Michael Spillane to Brentford and teenager David Stephens to Hibs, and hasn't ruled out bringing in competition for Russell Martin.
“If somebody comes in great, and it's up to the other ones to fight everybody,” said Lambert, who has given a trial to an unnamed Brazilian defender. “There's nobody set in stone that they're going to play. It's up to the lads how they perform from now on in to the Watford game.”
Lambert allowed Spillane and Stephens to leave rather than “stagnate” their careers.
“He (Spillane) needed the games,” he said. “David is only a young player and I wasn't going to stagnate his career. Michael was the same, he is only a young lad and needed games.”
Ruddy's arrival signals the end of the Fraser Forster saga, with City unable to carve out a deal to bring the Newcastle keeper back on loan.
“You have got the money factor, which is always there, loan fees and all those sort of things, and we just can't compete with a lot of the teams that have got the finance,” he said.
“There are loads of factors that I don't think people understand when you go for a loan, especially with a goalkeeper.
If anything happens to Newcastle's first two goalkeepers they call your goalkeeper in and you are left with two younger ones - and that could happen on the first day of the season. Whoever ends up getting him has got a really top goalkeeper.”
Ruddy - who played at Motherwell under Lambert's former Scotland manager Craig Brown last season - joins from Everton and is likely to be number one, with Lambert happy for teenagers Declan Rudd and Jed Steer to continue their development as understudies.“The thing about John is he made the same impact as Fraser had here up in Scotland,” Lambert said.
“He is only 23 years old and he had a terrific season up in Scotland. I saw him a few years ago when he was at Stockport. It's funny how Fraser was at Stockport when we saw him and John was at Stockport when I was at Wycombe.
“We saw him playing at Crewe and have always known about him. And the big thing is, he is our goalkeeper. He is not a loan, he is ours.”
Lambert has appointed Mike Ward as a sports scientist at the club, although he said nothing should be read into former midfielder Gary Holt's presence at training yesterday.
“He's just in giving a wee hand and getting them going,” said Lambert, who said last week he was unlikely to replace Ian Crook, who left the club recently to return to Australia.