Door stays open for ‘forgotten’ Norwich City midfielder
Paul Lambert insists Owain Tudur Jones still has a role to play at Carrow Road.
The Welsh midfielder had been on loan at League One Yeovil since the start of the season but returned last week and was a surprise inclusion on the bench at Derby on Saturday.
His appearance for the final moments was the first time he has played league football since Lambert arrived in August last year.
But City boss Lambert insists as long as he is in his squad he has a job to do.
'I spoke to Terry (Skiverton) at Yeovil and I knew Owain was coming back,' said Lambert. 'If you are a player at Norwich City then I don't dismiss anybody.'
Tudur Jones arrived at Carrow Road from Swansea in the summer of 2009, signed by Bryan Gunn. He played in the opening game of the League One season against Colchester – then under Lambert's guidance – and the next two under caretaker manager Ian Butterworth.
But his appearances under Lambert were restricted to the Carling Cup and the Johnstone's Paint Trophy – a situation caused by injury as well as competition for places.
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The 26-year-old had a loan spell at Yeovil and also started this season there. With midfield stocks depleted by injuries, Tudur Jones almost crept under the radar of most observers, but could be set for a surprise new lease of life.
'He has never once caused me any bother, or his team-mates any bother or the club any bother,' said Lambert.
'He needed games, that's why we sent him out on loan. Whoever I pick or is in the team or on the bench you have just got to hope they come in and do a job for you.
'I can't keep everybody happy every single time but if I ask you to do a job then I expect people to do it to the best of their ability.'
One of the players standing between Tudur Jones and a place in the team is Arsenal loan player, Henri Lansbury, who turned in another eye-catching performance at Derby.
'I know he (Lansbury) can do it and I know he is going to be a threat just behind the front lads,' said Lambert. 'He is a very talented player, he has got an eye to pass the ball. You can tell he is going to be a really top player.
'His pass last week I thought was incredible for Grant's goal (against Ipswich). You can never really tell, but my view is I have just got a feeling he is going to be a really top player.
'I think when you come from Arsenal you are a top player regardless of your age.'