City boss Paul Lambert today remained typically philosophical about the one that got away after a busy 36 hours on the transfer trail.
Swindon winger Anthony McNamee joined the Canary party last night – initially on a month’s long loan, but with all concerned banking on a full-time deal being on the table come the January transfer window.
The 26-year-old will, however, not be involved in tomorrow’s long haul north to Carlisle United for the ‘live’, web-streamed second round FA Cup clash; Wednesday’s arrival – former Posh skipper Russell Martin – will, however.
Speaking at Colney this morning ahead of the Carlisle trip, Lambert revealed that he was busily gunning for a third fresh face ahead of yesterday’s winter deadline.
Unfortunately, Johnny X failed to materialise; he may yet re-visit said target come January. He did, after all, first start to chase McNamee in August so he doesn’t tend to take ‘No!’ for an answer.
“We tried to get someone else in, but that didn’t happen,” revealed Lambert this morning.
“As I said after the game, we could do with a little help and, hopefully, Russell [Martin] and Anthony [McNamee] can come in and do something for us.”
And what, exactly, will McNamee bring to the party?
“What he will give us is speed – and, hopefully, he’ll get people off their seats,” said the City chief, reporting a fully-fit squad ahead of tomorrow’s trip.
Or was. Until the prospect of Gary Doherty racking up his 200th City appearance appeared to be in doubt as he disappeared in search of the doctor 30 seconds into his interview with the Press complaining of feeling sick.
He did admit, however, that missing out on No3 was ‘frustrating’.
“It is, yes,” he said.
“But, as I said, you’re never going to get everything right all the time; you’re never always going to get things all your own way but we’ll go with what we’ve got at the minute and then we’ll see.”
Would he re-visit it in the New Year?
“Maybe – I’ll wait and see.”
Already the canny City chief had started to reap the benefit of his early shopping spree as the rest of his squad raised their game in training; no-one was about to give up their place in Lambert’s promotion-chasing squad lightly.
“You saw it in training yesterday with Russell training, it raises the whole thing,” said Lambert. “I always think that when you bring someone in to help it, you start to look over your shoulder and think: ‘It could be me…’
“And the way to rectify that is to make sure it’s not you.”
The fact that tomorrow’s cup clash involved yet another long haul north left Lambert unmoved.
“I think you get used to it; it’s the nature of the game – it’s your job and you go and get on with it,” he said.
The rewards were obvious; finding a big plum tie awaiting the winner in round three.
“It’s like any cup competition – you want to get as far as you can,” said Lambert, after watching his free-scoring Canary side make such light work of their non-league opponents in round one.
“But if we do get through this and if we do get a big one, then it will be brilliant for them.
“If we got a Manchester United, a Manchester City, a Chelsea, an Arsenal – anyone in that Premiership would be a massive game for us.
“For the prestige and [the chance] for the lads to put themselves up against world-class players would be great.”
Overall, Lambert had few complaints. All was pretty rosy in the garden right now.
“The spirit is very good; they’re winning games. And they’re a good group; they don’t give me a bit of problem.
“And if you can build that spirit, then it certainly helps you in the league.”