City boss Paul Lambert today completed his first bit of business as Canary boss with the capture of Newcastle 'keeper Fraser Forster on a one-month loan deal.
Ben Alnwick could well play at Hartlepool tomorrow with the Scot confirming he's 'OK' after that nasty collision with Frazier Campbell on Monday night.
But Lambert was not taking any chances with Alnwick and after his parent club Tottenham ordered him to undergo a fitness test before tomorrow's clash at Victoria Park, he swooped for 21-year-old Forster.
The 6ft 6'' shot-stopper has League One experience after spending time at both Stockport and Bristol Rovers. And the City chief is confident he can make an impact at this level
“I saw him play a few times last season and he was terrific at Stockport and did well at Bristol Rovers,” Lambert told the press this morning. “He's a big lad and knows the league well.
“Ben's got a fitness test tomorrow. The problem with having loans is that the club they've come from still own them.
“Tottenham want him to do this test tomorrow but he's OK. The surgeon has done a great job and he's a lucky lad. If it was an inch or two higher then his eye could have been in trouble.
“But if Ben doesn't get through the test, then we've only got Declan [Rudd], who's not played any games. We had to act quickly.”
Rudd has already made it as far as the bench in Lambert's first two games in charge but the City boss isn't sure he's ready for his first-team bow just yet.
But the Diss-born 'keeper has impressed him, like he did Glenn Roeder, in training so far. I don't suspect it will be too long before we see him in action.
“Maybe it's a bit too soon to throw him into that first-team environment,” Lambert continued.
“But he's done really well in training and he's been with the first-team. He has looked assured but match situations are a bit different.”
One thing's for sure, the arrival of Forster, allied to Lambert's kind words on Rudd, all point to the departure of Australian 'keeper Michael Theoklitos.
Lambert insisted the summer arrival from Melbourne Victory still has a future in Norfolk. But he did hint that if Theoklitos wasn't happy playing second fiddle, then the situation may change.
“At the minute he does [have a future]. I've had a chat with the lad; I spoke with him when I first arrived to say that Declan was going to be on the bench against Wycombe.
“Michael's been great round the place. We've not had an ounce of trouble but my job is to make this football club stronger.
“When people sign in your position, you tend to think you're 15th in line but it's up to him to fight to get into it. Whether he's going to accept that I don't know.”
As far as tomorrow's long trek north to Hartlepool, Lambert admitted that both Owain Tudur Jones and Matt Gill will miss the match through injury.
And Gill's frustration will be growing after not yet having a chance to impress the new manager. He'll be hoping that knee complaint subsides sooner rather than later.
“Tudur Jones has got a calf strain and he's definitely out for tomorrow. Matthew Gill is another one who's struggling with his knee.”
Tomorrow's fixture in the north east will be a real test of City's League One credentials.
It's the stereotypical third tier clash and the Canaries are going to come face-to-face with a tight ground, swirling north sea winds and a hostile atmosphere.
And according to Lambert, you have to put in the hard graft in this sort of environment.
“We're going to have to earn the right to play up there that's for sure,” he continued. “It's going to be tough. It's not the biggest of grounds up there.
“It's tight and we're going to have to earn the right to get the three points. I've been there before so I know what to expect.”