City boss to ring changes
PAUL Lambert is prepared to make more changes tonight as Norwich City switch their attention to the Carling Cup.The Canaries' new boss axed six players for his first game in charge - and those he recalled responded with a comprehensive 5-2 League One victory over Wycombe Wanderers.
PAUL Lambert is prepared to make more changes tonight as Norwich City switch their attention to the Carling Cup.
The Canaries' new boss axed six players for his first game in charge - and those he recalled responded with a comprehensive 5-2 League One victory over Wycombe Wanderers.
But Lambert may well reshuffle his side once again for the televised second round tie against Premier League side Sunderland at Carrow Road (7.45pm).
He said it was important to assess the players he inherited as soon as possible and would consider changes to take a look at them all.
"I might do because I have to see everybody," he said. "I have to see people to see what they can offer, but a lot of the lads today haven't played much. The turnaround's that short so I have to look at players to see if they're going to be good enough to stay.
"You have to give everybody a chance. There are things that we can do a lot better than what I saw and things we can improve on."
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Midfielder Matthew Gill missed Saturday's match after taking a knock in the 2-1 defeat at Brentford and striker Cody McDonald was a concern before being passed fit to face Wycombe, playing nearly half an hour as a substitute for Jamie Cureton.
"Gill is struggling at the minute - he's the only one. Cody had a dead leg the other day but everybody else is OK," said Lambert, whose biggest surprise was leaving out skipper Gary Doherty, making Grant Holt captain on the day - despite the striker suffering from toothache.
"Captains don't really mean much. It's the best team I've got to get on that pitch on a given day," said Lambert. "Gary may be back in on Monday. I just picked a team and with Gary not playing I've got to give it to somebody. I just thought Grant Holt was the right one to do it.
"Holt is a proper player and his goals were excellent. He came in this morning with his face a little bit swollen. I think his wisdom teeth are giving him a bit of a problem, so if he keeps playing like that, I hope he keeps getting it. I really do, I hope he keeps having problems with his teeth.
"I just thought he's a players' man. I thought, yes, he will drive it through, which is what we need as a football club to try to succeed."
Forward Wes Hoolahan, linked with a move to Swansea last week, was another significant omission although he played the final 16 minutes as a substitute.
Lambert said he had no knowledge of an impending move for Hoolahan with a week left of the August transfer window.
"No, not that I've heard of. I just picked a team that I thought would win the game and it's my prerogative to pick what team I want to pick," he said.
"I thought the response from the players and fans was terrific. We got three excellent goals and then got a bit sloppy for Wycombe's goals, which put us on the back foot a bit. The second one certainly put us on the back foot, but after that the response was great.
"Considering there was a load of changes in it, some young kids in it, I'm absolutely delighted. Every one of them I thought was great.
"We did a little training drill with them on Thursday and a bit of shape work to see what was there because we never knew any of the lads as such, apart from the Colchester game. I just felt we had to make changes to give it a bit of freshness because of the hurt the football club had incurred since the Colchester game."