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Competition for places at Norwich City is really hotting up

PUBLISHED: 07:45 24 January 2011

Norwich City boss Paul Lambert does not believe the battle for places will affect morale among those unable to get in the side. Picture: Paul Chesterton / Focus Images

Norwich City boss Paul Lambert does not believe the battle for places will affect morale among those unable to get in the side. Picture: Paul Chesterton / Focus Images

Focus Images 2011

AUDIO: City boss Paul Lambert is looking forward to even greater competition for places in his promotion-chasing side.

The Canaries moved into third place in the Championship with their 2-1 win at Sheffield United and will be further boosted by the return of Henri Lansbury on loan from Arsenal for the rest of the season, and the imminent recovery from injury of defender Elliott Ward and midfielder Andrew Surman.

He said: “Henri coming back will be a big one for us. He’s coming in next week so that will be a big plus for us because he can make things happen as well. Lansbury’s an offensive player, which is great for us. Surman will be back shortly, I hope, and Ward is coming back.”

Lambert does not believe the battle for places will affect morale among those unable to get in the side.

He said: “Even with the lads that are out of the team, there is not a bad professional at the club, which is great because I need everybody to do something. It’s important we have everybody pulling in the same direction, which I’m pretty sure they will.”

He admitted City were still pursuing Brighton winger Elliott Bennett after having their initial approach rejected.

“As Brighton have already said, we’ve made an inquiry, which is where it is at the minute and we’ll see what happens,” said Lambert. Wes Hoolahan played at Bramall Lane despite being ill in the build-up to the game, making way for Simon Lappin with just over 20 minutes left.

“Wes, unbeknown to people, had a virus during the week so it was a big call to play him, but we played him and I thought he did great for us when he was on,” said Lambert, who praised his players for digging out another away win.

“We’ve done really fine and I thought the lads, especially in the second half, were excellent.

“They have a new manager, the crowd is vibrant, and they’ve got a new player in Marcus Bent, who gave them a lift. So everything was stacked against us.

“But when you get them in at 0-0 at half-time, when you’ve not really got going, if the truth be known, the game is still level. I knew, shooting into our own end, we would perform in the second half.”

Paul Lambert post-match

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