Lambert’s starting line-up taking shape

Norwich City's strikeforce gave Paul Lambert a timely reminder with a brace in the 3-0 friendly cruise at Coventry that concluded the Canaries' Football League 'tour'.

Aaron Wilbraham struck inside two minutes at the Ricoh before Steve Morison clinically despatched Elliott Bennett's pinpoint cross.

The former Brighton man then hammered a long range strike past Joe Murphy in the closing minutes to cap a satisfying week for Lambert after previous goalless trips to Crystal Palace and Southend.

'That is good to see but I think some of the football we played was pleasing as well. I always think we look like we can score goals, but come the first game is when it starts,' he said.

'I thought his (Bennett's) ball for Steve Morison at the back was terrific and his strike was a fantastic one.

'You've got to remember he's only a young lad but they've all worked well in pre-season. It was a lovely place to come and play against a good Coventry side.

'Southend was tough for different reasons. It is a small stadium, they are right on top of you and then you come here. Coventry were fantastic last season when Andy (Thorn) took over so it was always going to be a tough game.

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'It's been a hard three games in a week which is really, really tough. We finished strongly in the last 20 minutes which was also pleasing.'

Lambert confirmed midfielder Andrew Crofts's early departure just after half-time was a precautionary measure. The Scot feels his starting line-up is gradually taking shape with Elliott Ward and James Vaughan already ruled out for the opening day league trip to Wigan.

'He got a bit of a kick towards the end of the first half, we'll just have to see how he is,' said Lambert. '(Anthony) Pilkington is not too far away from coming back, he is doing fine in training, and we have Wardy and James still to come back.

'I think it's vital that we have options to adapt to things. The work ethic and the desire are there in abundance. It'll be hard to pick a side but that is the job. You always have a rough idea – that is normal. I think there are some really good aspects to our game at the minute but as I've said before it doesn't matter about what happens at this stage. When it's for real that is when it matters.

Lambert will use upcoming home friendlies against Real Zaragoza and Parma this week to fine tune his Premier League plans after an emphatic win against the Sky Blues.

'It's another game under our belt. We have two to go and that is us ready to go,' he said. 'I know my players, they know me and the new ones are getting to know how we work as well. I'm delighted with how we played. With the 25 man squad we have to give them all a chance because it is going to be a really hard season for us.

'We have two more friendlies against two top sides and once we're finished all our attention is on the first game. I think the guide will be when we get into the final week and that's when it will really hit them.

'When you play continental opposition you tend to find if you give it away you might have to run a lot more than you are used to so it'll be hard against two top quality sides. 'There might not be as many substitutions as there has been in the last few games but everybody will have a part to play.'