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Norwich V Aston Villa at Carrow Road : Match Preview
Updated published : 21 Sep 2013 08:21:35Rss feed
Norwich V Aston Villa - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.
City ready for Lambert return
Norwich have no fresh injuries for Saturday's Barclays Premier League clash with former boss Paul Lambert's Aston Villa.
Striker Gary Hooper was an unused substitute at Tottenham and could make his competitive debut following a pre-season shin problem.
Elliott Bennett is the only definite absentee. The winger, who signed a two-year contract extension this week, is recovering from surgery on a cruciate ligament injury.
Chris Hughton's priority remains making certain Norwich are difficult to beat.
Following the loss at Tottenham, England goalkeeper John Ruddy called for the Canaries to play more positively to make the most of their talents in comments which could be interpreted as a slight towards his manager Hughton.
But the Canaries boss, whose side drew 14 of their 38 games last term, was unfazed and maintains his approach is the right one.
"When we don't win football matches we always look at the reasons why," Hughton said.
"You generally don't hear too much when we win games, (like) after a very good performance against a very good Southampton team at home.
"We are always conscious that you want to win a game and you want to win a game in different ways.
"You still have to make sure that you are a tough team to beat.
"You hope with the quality you have you can work off that and get the goals that you need.
"It's about us, not over four games, over a season doing well enough and making sure we get the best out of our players.
"We've got players we've got to bed into the system, bed into the team."
Lambert is likely to call on Ciaran Clark to fill the defensive void left by Jores Okore's cruciate ligament injury.
The Scot suffered a major blow when 21-year-old was ruled out for nine months after being injured in last week's defeat by Newcastle.
"The initial injury has happened and it's a blow to him," said Lambert.
"But in years gone by if you did your cruciate you were struggling to play again but now it's a run of the mill thing that players come back strong and I'm pretty sure he'll do that.
"He's only young so he'll be fine.
"He'd started the season well, especially considering he missed a big bit of pre-season, so it's a blow for him and certainly a blow for us."
Clark, 23, and Nathan Baker, 22, must now fill in for Okore between them until at least January.
But despite their occasional errors last term, their manager has full faith in both men to stand strong alongside captain Ron Vlaar.
"They're young so they're going to make mistakes," he said. "But towards the end of last season they were great and now they've had a year at it, playing consistently, they'll be better for it.
"I don't have any problems with Ciaran and Nathan at all and I don't need to think about bringing in any loan signings."
Lambert has other unspecified niggles to contend with, while Charles N'Zogbia is unavailable with a long-term injury.
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