City boss Paul Lambert added another name to the injured list by revealing Darel Russell is a concern ahead of the televised match at MK Dons on Monday night.
With Matt Gill and Owain Tudur Jones already out of action, the Scot will be aware that his midfield options are dwindling.
And while Lambert admitted that it's too early to say whether the calf injury that forced him off during the reserves' win over Southend will rule him out, he will be wrapping Stephen Hughes, Korey Smith and Tom Adeyemi in cotton wool between now and the trip to Buckinghamshire.
“Darel is giving us a wee bit of concern with his calf at the minute, we'll have to see how he is,” said Lambert, speaking to reporters at Colney this morning.
“And Matty Gill and Owain Tudur Jones are still definitely out. Matty will be a little while yet but Owain is doing a bit better. But you can't put a time on them; they will be back when they're ready.”
The enforced break due to the powers that be at Sky has meant that, for the first time since his arrival from Colchester, Lambert has had some time to really put his stamp on things.
With the hectic schedule that accompanies life in League One, there is hardly a chance to come up for air.
But the nine-day gap between Walsall and Monday night has given the coaching staff a chance to really up the ante. And the Canary chief will be hoping it pays off…
“It helps in that we have them for a week; from that point of view it's good. The break helps you recover because we've had games Saturday-Tuesday, Saturday-Tuesday since I've been here.
“They trained really hard on Tuesday; the intensity levels are starting to pick up from a training point of view � which we have to get into them.”
The trip to Stadium:MK represents a step up in class � on paper � after their last three outings against Wycombe, Hartlepool and Walsall.
But Lambert was keen to stress that there are no easy games in this division. In fact, the lesser lights can sometimes offer a sterner test � in a 'park the bus in front of goal' kind of way, as we saw last weekend.
City should be allowed to come out and play a bit against Paul Ince's men. And that could work to their advantage.
“I've been in this league long enough to know that when you play the Walsalls, Wycombes and Brentfords, it's sometimes harder than the bigger teams.
“I'm under no illusion as to how hard it is and I treat every game as being as difficult as each other. I don't prioritise who is better as I think if you do that you're in trouble of being complacent. Every game I go into I think it'll be really tough.
“But we've got to have a fear factor where teams are afraid of us � especially when they come to Carrow Road.
“We've got to make it a place where teams are wary to come to, with the crowd backing that we've got. This is a huge club but it is where it is for a reason. It's up to us to get ourselves out of it.”
On the transfer front, Lambert revealed he was having a dabble in the loan market as he seeks one or two reinforcements.
“We're trying at this minute to see if we can do certain things, he continued. “But I don't want to bring loan players in for the sake of it; I really don't want to do that. But we just might have to look at one or two to come in and give us a hand.”
But on the outgoing front, the response was simple when asked if there had been any interest. “No, nothing,” was the short and sweet response.
Whether the likes of Wes Hoolahan and Gary Doherty, both linked with moves away from Carrow Road in recent weeks, have futures in Norfolk only time will tell.
But their solid performances in the midweek reserves romp will not have done them any harm. And if they stay put, then they will have no option but to knuckle down and get on with it � just as they did against the Shrimpers.
“The experienced lads didn't let themselves down which was really pleasing. I know how hard it is, if you're an experienced player, to play in the reserves. But their attitude was great.
“There is a major gulf between reserve football and first-team football. There are lots of different scenarios.
“You can play with a bit of a freedom in the reserves which is fine. But all you can do is play your best and give me a problem.”
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