Marc Tierney in line to play a part for Norwich City reserves against Sunderland

Norwich City boss Paul Lambert will be guided by Marc Tierney on whether the defender features in today's final Premier Reserve League home game of the season against Keith Bertschin's Sunderland at Colney (2pm).

Tierney's last top flight appearance came in the 2-2 away draw at Wolves before Christmas, since when groin and knee injuries have wrecked his campaign. The 26-year-old was an unused substitute for the FA Cup fourth round win at West Brom, but had to abort a planned comeback after suffering a reaction in training. His only competitive action in 2012 was a 70-minute reserve shift in January's 3-3 draw against Chelsea. Lambert, however, has confirmed that Tierney is now on course for a return.

'We'll see how Marc's feeling but he trained with us on Friday for the first time, so he's doing all right,' he said. 'If he keeps doing what he is doing at the minute, then I'll see how he is, but he looks just about there now. He played a lot of games before Christmas but that's football. You get injured, somebody else comes and takes your place and you have to fight to get back in.'

City's reserve line-up for last week's heavy Colney defeat against Fulham's second string included the likes of Ryan Bennett and Aaron Wilbraham, who both made notable contributions at the weekend. Midfield duo Bradley Johnson and Andrew Crofts were unused substitutes in London and could feature against Sunderland today after playing 90 minutes at Colney last time out, whilst Simon Lappin was not part of the Fulham matchday squad.

Centre-back Dani Ayala is to get another opportunity to step up his fitness bid after the Spaniard featured in a defensive three alongside Bennett and Leon Barnett in the recent Fulham reserve game. Keeper Declan Rudd was not considered for first team duty at Craven Cottage, but Lambert revealed he was optimistic both Rudd and striker James Vaughan may have a part to play before the end of the club's Premier League campaign.

'James is doing all right. He is working hard but still a wee bit away from playing matches, but he is doing well with the physios,' said Lambert. 'He might get some games before the end. Declan is now training with us, him and Jed (Steer). He just has to get used to the first team level again and coming into the training with the rest of the lads.'

Sunderland are expected to travel south with a young squad under the guidance of former Norwich striker Bertschin.

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He spent three years at Carrow Road in the early 1980s and believes blooding youth at this level is the right way to go.

The game is open to spectators, with a 2pm kick-off.

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