Norwich City down to ‘bare bones’ with Hoolahan out injured
Wes Hoolahan joined Norwich City's lengthy casualty list when he missed yesterday's 1-1 draw at Middlesbrough with a groin injury.
The Canaries' star forward was a late withdrawal from the squad for the Championship match at Riverside Stadium.
'He's got a groin problem, which was a blow because we just found out this morning that we had to pull him out,' said manager Paul Lambert.
Hoolahan, who suffered the injury in the 1-0 win over Queens Park Rangers on Saturday, was added to an injured list that already includes David Fox, Henri Lansbury, Elliott Ward and long-term absentees Stephen Hughes, Steven Smith and Andrew Surman.
'We've lost a lot of players through injury and the lads that came in, again, have done great,' said Lambert, after skipper Grant Holt's 12th goal of the season proved enough to earn a point and push City into second place in the table. Holt's effort was cancelled out by an unfortunate own goal from Leon Barnett, but City have been beaten just once in 11 matches.
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'It's monumental what the lads have done – they're running on empty but they have a great, great desire not to get beaten,' said Lambert, who argued that two games in three days was too punishing. 'It's a personal view, I think it's too much, I really do. The magnitude of every game is huge but with our game on Saturday and the adrenalin, it was a big, big ask to go again, especially when you get the injuries we've got at the minute. It's tough to play any team in the league but even more so when you've got to play two games in three days – a really, really hard thing to do.
'You've got to give both teams credit for putting on a decent game.'
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Now he must assess his squad ahead of Saturday's FA Cup third round tie at home to Leyton Orient, when Fox may be the only player with a chance of returning.
'That's us right down to the bare bones. We don't have many people left to play,' said Lambert. 'Foxy might be OK. I don't know. We'll have to see how he is during the week – and who we have left.'
Middlesbrough boss Tony Mowbray was pleased with his side's display but disappointed with a second 1-1 draw in three days. They were denied by a late equaliser at Leeds, then had David Wheater's goal against the Canaries disallowed six minutes from time.
He said: 'The dressing room is very disappointed again today that we didn't get the three points against a team now sitting second. We have to turn tight games into victories.'