The Canaries’ injury ‘crisis’ shows no real sign of abating ahead of the long trek to Carlisle this weekend, Paul Lambert revealed today.
The City boss still has concerns over Jon Otsemobor, Grant Holt and Darel Russell although Lambert and the Canary captain himself revealed to the press that they were hopeful of Holt’s participation against his hometown club.
“I’m hopeful on Grant. He’s been terrific for us lately,” said the Canary manager, in forthright fashion.
Michael Spillane (hamstring), Owain Tudur Jones (calf) and Matt Gill (knee) are longer term casualties and the Scot will be hoping that the three doubts will make it through.
The only other like-for-like option at right-back – if Otsemobor doesn’t make it – would be George Francomb, the Academy youngster who made his debut at Gillingham in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.
Korey Smith can fill in there ably but it’s likely he’ll be needed in the centre of midfield, with Stephen Hughes away on international duty with Scotland.
To be fair to Lambert and his coaching staff, that they are in the midst of such a rich vein of form, with lady luck not on their side injury-wise, shows how much of an impact they have made since their arrival.
But the Canary chief will be hoping and praying that he has as many fit and able bodies as possible for the trip to Cumbria.
“We’ll have to train today and see where we are. We’ll have to make a decision on them and then decide who to take with us.”
Despite giving out two pastings in their last two league outings – 4-0 and 5-1 respectively – Lambert was not expecting an easy time of it at Brunton Park.
He’s been there too many times to know they are as tough as old boots in that part of the world. City will have to earn any sort of result.
“I’ve been up there a few times and it’s a tough place. They are hard working and make no mistake, they’ll be really, really tough.”
The former Celtic hero also revealed that he was still drawing a blank on the transfer front, so it’s a case of ‘as you were’ in terms of squad selection.
“We’ve tried numerous times to get people in. Sometimes it doesn’t happen and sometimes it does. But it’s not for the lack of trying.
“Teams want a lot of money for players so you just have to wheel and deal in the market like everybody else.”
The Canaries have recently been linked to highly-rated defender Dan Seaborne, and Exeter director of football Steve Perryman confirmed last night that the Norfolk club had made a ‘derisory’ offer.
“We know at some point that Dan Seaborne is good enough to go higher in the game and we don’t wish to stand in his way but the time is not now and especially not for such a derisory amount.”
Would Lambert be increasing his bid? “I’ll have to speak to the board on that one,” he replied.
He wasn’t giving too much away when quizzed on the future of Michael Theoklitos either and Lambert refused to say whether the Australian goalkeeper still had a future in Norfolk.
The former Melbourne Victory star failed to arrive for the midweek trip to Kent in the JPT.
But as far as Lambert was concerned, the matter is done and dusted.
“I’ve spoken to him and as far as I’m concerned, the matter is closed.” Would he now be in the squad for the long trip north?
With Declan Rudd away with the England youth team, he is the only senior backup for Fraser Forster. But, again, Lambert refused to say either way. “We’ll train this morning and decide where to go from here.”