City fans could be in for a long night this evening as Canary chief Paul Lambert refused to rule out making one last dip into the January transfer window.
Speaking at Colney this morning ahead of tomorrow’s Stadium Of Light reunion with his managerial mentor Martin O’Neill, Lambert revealed that something had ‘reared its head’ of late.
The Canaries have, of course, already made one move in the January market – signing 23-year-old Leeds skipper Jonny Howson for a reported £2 million.
This morning, however, and the impression remained that Lambert had some unfinished business to take care of transfer-wise.
Whether, with the clock ticking, all the dots and all the Ts can be crossed in time, is another matter. But something was afoot.
“There’s things that I’m looking at – whether they come off, I’m not so sure,” was the manager’s teasing line this morning, when quizzed with regard to potential transfer deadline day activity.
He wasn’t ruling anything out – equally, of course, he wasn’t ruling anything in. It was one of those.
“There’s one or two things that I’ve looked at. And if they don’t happen then I’m more than happy, as I’ve said, with the group that I’ve got here.”
His mobile was, he admitted, staying on.
“I’ll see what happens,” he said, simply. “I’ll have to wait and see through the course of the day as to whether it does come off. It’s just in the balance at the moment, but hopefully as I say I’ll know more through the course of the day.”
This morning’s newspapers held few clues as to who Lambert’s target might be; chances are that ‘Player X’ will remain just that as the clock ticks down towards the midnight hour.
As for players making a Carrow Road exit, the only business on that front appeared to be extending the loan deal for Chrissy Martin at Crystal Palace and confirming that young midfielder Tom Adeyemi would continue his footballing education at Boundary Park until the end of the season.
Senior squad players would be staying put, insisted the Scot.
“I might let one or two of the younger ones out [on loan], but not any of the lads that have performed.”
In the meantime, of course, the Canaries have a big, Premier League double-header looming in the shape of tomorrow night’s trip to a revitalised Sunderland and Saturday’s home clash against struggling Bolton Wanderers.
They at least appeared to be on for a spot of good news today with star striker Kevin Davies reported to be close to agreeing a new deal at the Reebok – as opposed to signing for Martin O’Neill’s Black Cats.
Unbeaten in January, unbeaten in six games and with the very real prospect of an FA Cup quarter-final place looming, Norwich fly to the North-East in the finest of fettles; their stock as high as it has been for nigh-on a generation.
“I think we’re playing with a lot of confidence at this minute,” said Lambert, speaking after Saturday’s latest 2-1 success at West Bromwich Albion – this time in the cup as opposed to the bread-and-butter of the Premier League.
“And we’re looking forward to the game against a really good side – and we’ll do everything we can to try and win,” said Lambert.
With no fresh injuries to report, his biggest decisions revolve around restoring the players rested at The Hawthorns and finding a place again for the cup-tied Kyle Naughton.
As for the prospect of kid keeper Jed Steer keeping his first team place ahead of regular No1 John Ruddy, Lambert appeared to be toeing a cautious line. The 19-year-old may have to bide his time.
“Some of the saves Jed [Steer] made on Saturday were world class and kept us in it at vital moments of the game.
“But, also, John Ruddy has seen it and done it for a long time; he’s been playing fantastically well for us of late. So I’ll decide tomorrow what I’ll do and I’ve got a rough idea as to what team I’ll play. But I’m sure that if Jed is called on again, he won’t let us down.”