Lambert on Norwood’s injury, signing a replacement and further interest in Downes and Jackson
- Credit: Archant
Paul Lambert would like to bring in a new striker following James Norwood’s hamstring injury but is unsure if finance will allow.
Norwood faces two months on the sidelines after tearing his hamstring in training earlier this week, leaving just Oli Hawkins and Kayden Jackson as specialist strikers in the Town squad.
Lambert, who has already said he would like to bring in a winger before the transfer window closes on October 16, was asked whether he would like to sign a replacement but pointed to finance as a possible barrier.
“We can’t do much because of the salary cap and things like that – we certainly won’t be buying anybody, that’s for sure,” the Town boss said.
“If we can do something then great but we’ll have to wait and see. It’s a difficult situation financially for every club.
“If we can’t do it, we can’t do it. It’s financial. The pandemic has impacted everything.
“If we can’t then I’m really happy with the guys. If we can, we can. If we can’t, we can’t.”
When asked about the potential for Freddie Sears to switch from a wide role to centre-forward, and for Ben Folami to jump up from the Under 23s, Lambert said: “We can’t rely on Ben Folami, come on.
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“He’s a kid who hasn’t been round about it and is nowhere near ready. Ben will hopefully go out on loan.
“Freddie’s best position, for me, is wide but we know he can play as a centre-forward. We can’t go with kids, there’s no way because they haven’t been round about it yet.”
Norwood’s absence robs Lambert of a man who jointly led Town’s scoring charts on 11 goals last season, with the Town boss believing the injury is a result of a six month break caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
He fears more injuries could follow.
“It’s a blow because James was just starting to find his feet again after a long lay-off,” Lambert said.
“Of course it’s disappointing but I don’t think he’s ever had a muscle injury before, so it’s his first time with something like that.
“He’s had six months off and you’re going to need a little bit of luck if you’re not going to suffer with things like that.
“But that’s what you’re going to get, I think, following six months off due to the pandemic and then so many games in quick succession.
“People moan about players getting injured but there needs to be some kind of common sense about how many games we’re going to have to play.
“We’re trying to train players to get up to speed for 50-odd games in a 35-week season It’s a crazy situation.
“It’s a blow but we could get one or two more of these things.”
Lambert also insisted he has not heard any further from Crystal Palace and Bournemouth regarding their interest in Flynn Downes and Kayden Jackson respectively, after bids were turned down earlier in the window.
“I’ve not heard it but those two lads have been fine,” he said.
“If it does materialise then I’m sure Marcus (Evans, owner) will be judge and jury on it but as far as I’m concerned there’s nothing new.”