We'll score goals, insists Norwich City boss
David Cuffley Norwich City boss Paul Lambert insists he has no concerns about his team's goalscoring potency after another blank evening. The Canaries were beaten 1-0 at League One club Dagenham & Redbridge last night, the senior side's first pre-season defeat and their second successive goalless 90 minutes after Tuesday's 0-0 draw at Stevenage.
Norwich City boss Paul Lambert insists he has no concerns about his team's goalscoring potency after another blank evening.
The Canaries were beaten 1-0 at League One club Dagenham & Redbridge last night, the senior side's first pre-season defeat and their second successive goalless 90 minutes after Tuesday's 0-0 draw at Stevenage.
With skipper Grant Holt sidelined by a thigh injury and new signing Simeon Jackson still finding his feet, Chris Martin is the only striker left at the club to have scored in the warm-up matches after grabbing both goals in the 2-0 victory over SV Bergisch Gladbach in Germany.
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Cody McDonald scored twice in the 3-0 win at Dereham but has since joined Gillingham on a season-long loan.
To complicate matters, Holt, top scorer with 30 goals last season, has been ruled out of tomorrow's friendly at home to Newcastle United (3pm).
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But Lambert is not concerned about his team going three hours against lower division opponents without a goal.
“It doesn't worry me in these games because we'll be ready for the first one,” he said.
“The result doesn't really mean much for me because I know what happens when we play Watford. I've been involved in enough pre-season games to think they don't go the way you want but that's pre-season for you.”
The televised Championship opener at home to the Hornets, two weeks tonight, occupies most of the manager's thoughts.
“Whether we'd won every game, I'd still feel the same. The Watford game is the one we have to be ready for,” he said. “It would be nice to win but the main one is Watford. Getting more games under your belt, fitness wise, that's the main thing.
“We've still got another three games to go. We've got a great game tomorrow at home, then we have to go to Lincoln on Wednesday and Everton again Saturday.”
Lambert's injury worries show no sign of easing, with Holt, midfielder Stephen Hughes and full-back Steven Smith out of tomorrow's game, and defender Zak Whitbread and midfielder Korey Smith added to the doubtful list last night.
Whitbread was named in the original eleven against Dagenham, but was withdrawn after the warm-up.
“He had a little bit of tightness in his calf, so it was safety first there. We just pulled him out,” said Lambert.
Smith had treatment on his left shin after being caught by a late challenge in the first half, but managed to play for an hour.
“Hopefully it settles down, it was a hard challenge. The lad's trailing leg caught him. We hope he will be OK,” said Lambert.
Holt, meanwhile, faces a race to be fit for the new campaign.
Said Lambert: “It's his thigh. We'll just have to monitor him and see how he feels. I can't say how long. He's doing OK running at the minute.
“With Steven Smith it's his ankle ligaments. We'll just have to see how long it is.”
Better news for Lambert was that defender Elliott Ward played his first 45 minutes for City after shaking off an Achilles injury.
“That's his first match,” said the City boss. “To be fair, he's not trained much. The 45 minutes will do him the world of good. Once we get him totally fit he's ready for it. As long as we've got no reaction we'll see how he is tomorrow.”
The Canaries will need to improve on last night's showing at Victoria Road when they take on the Magpies, back in the Premier League after a one-year absence.
“You've got to earn the right to win games. We just can't turn up and think it's going to happen for us. But tomorrow will be a great test for us, in front of our own fans,” said Lambert.
“The opposition is a top-level team and we'll have to be at our best to get something.
“We're going to have to perform better than we did tonight - but we will.”
The likely return to Carrow Road of Newcastle goalkeeper Fraser Forster, last season's players' player of the year, will give added spice to the occasion.
“It will be brilliant. I'm looking forward to seeing him. I've not had the chance to see him and if he is coming down, it will be nice for him,” said Lambert.