City boss Paul Lambert has declared himself happy with his side’s pre-season work so far, as the Canaries up the ante this week with three friendlies in five days.
First up they head to League Two newcomers Stevenage this evening, before another trip south to face Dagenham and Redbridge on Thursday night.
Then comes the first big test of the summer, with last season’s Championship winners Newcastle United providing the Carrow Road test this Saturday afternoon.
And after enjoying a productive week on their German training camp, Lambert will be looking to step it up a gear in the coming days, with important ‘game time’ on the agenda before that opener against Watford on August 6.
“I have been pleased with our own pre-season work so far,” the Scot told the club’s official website today.
“The German training camp was certainly hard work for the players but hopefully work they will really benefit from once the season gets underway.
“It was also a good week for the new players among the squad to get away with their new team-mates and get to know the way we like to work at Norwich City.”
It remains to be seen whether Lambert will field a full-strength team at Broadhall Way and Victoria Road this week. But it will be certainly be interesting to see who gets the nod at the weekend – that could well be where the first clues are given, as City fans debate what is the strongest starting XI.
And the Canary chief is looking forward to the club’s first showpiece friendly of the summer, with the Toon and their travelling army always proving a popular opponent.
“This really is a great fixture for us to have – Newcastle are a huge club with a great fanbase and they enjoyed a terrific season last time out as they returned to the Premier League at the first time of asking.
“When you look at what Newcastle achieved at Championship level last season, this really is going to be a great test for us.
“Chris has done a fantastic job at St James’ Park, regardless of the division you are in, if you want to achieve something you have to go out and win games week-in, week-out and that is never easy.”
In other news, new Coventry boss Aidy Boothroyd has put the Martin Cranie link to bed, insisting that the former England Under-21 is a big part of his Ricoh Arena plans.
And the former City Academy chief has re-iterated that the Norfolk club have made no approach for the 23-year-old, with Cranie earmarked as Cov’s utility man for the coming season.
“I have not had a single call and neither has the chairman so as far as we are concerned it is just speculation and rumour, which you get a lot of at this time of the year,” he told the Coventry Telegraph.
“Martin is a fantastic player to have in your squad because he can play in so many different positions. He can play in six different positions across the back four and midfield so he’s a good player to have.
“And playing in midfield he looks like he has played there all his career. It is a little bit different but it is another string to his bow.
“With Gary Deegan being out injured we are a little bit short so we needed someone to go in there, and he needs games to get his fitness up as well.”
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