Norwich City boss Lambert hoping for a good news double
Paul Lambert will have one eye on his left back and the other on someone else's winger today – hoping the final day of the January transfer window brings good news.
On the home front, there are concerns over Adam Drury ahead of tomorrow's home game against Millwall after the full-back limped off with a tight thigh during the weekend 0-0 draw at Crystal Palace.
Further afield, Lambert will be hoping that Brighton's reluctance to allow City anywhere near their winger, Elliott Bennett, will be relaxed sufficiently to conclude a deal before the deadline expires at 11pm.
The rumour mill has gone into full swing, but it would appear City's interest in the 22-year-old has not waned.
'We are trying,' said Lambert. 'I can't and I won't just go out and bring in somebody for the sake of bringing them in, that would be wrong of me. We have (Andrew) Surman coming back as well which will be a major, major plus for us, so it is not an over concern of mine.'
Brighton boss Gus Poyet reiterated his chairman's stance, that Bennett is going nowhere, despite asking for a transfer.
'For me as the manager it's a dream situation, because you are keeping your best player,' he said. 'I think we have made it quite clear, he is going to stay.'
- 1 Parish council weighs in on row over 'rollercoaster' racking
- 2 Man in 20s killed and another seriously injured in motorbike crash
- 3 Norfolk beach named among UK's most contaminated
- 4 House boarded up after fight in Norfolk village
- 5 'I couldn't believe it' - West Norfolk villages hit by flash flooding
- 6 YouTube professional eater smashes 100oz steak challenge at Norfolk pub
- 7 'Carnage' as fight involving axes breaks out after van crashes into house
- 8 Heatwave leaves dried-up pond like 'scene from sci-fi movie'
- 9 Norfolk spot named among UK's best waterside pubs
- 10 Where you will be able to see the Red Arrows over Norfolk today
Clear that may be, but Bennett – who hasn't missed a league game this season – was an unused sub in Brighton's 1-0 FA Cup win at Watford.
Marc Tierney, one of Lambert's January signings, made his debut for Drury at Selhurst Park on a day which clearly belonged to both sets of defenders.
Chances were as rare as hen's teeth, and when Palace had them, goalkeeper John Ruddy was again in the way to enhance his growing reputation among the Canaries faithful.
In front of him the centre-backs, Leon Barnett and Zak Whitbread, were top draw – as were their opposite numbers, Paddy McCarthy and Anthony Gardner.
Whitbread has played the last four games, easily his longest run since he arrived a year ago – although competition isn't far away.
'I think he is doing excellent at the minute and you just hope he is going to be injury free, but he has adjusted well to it and (Elliott) Ward coming back on to the bench is a bonus as well,' said Lambert. 'It's a bit hard on Michael Nelson, but it's just decisions I have to make.
'I thought him John Ruddy was excellent with some great saves. I thought (Leon) Barnett was excellent as well when he had to be. When Crystal Palace are shooting into their home end it's an intimidating end to play in front of. The point may be pivotal come the end of it.
'I'm not too disturbed about just having a point because it was a tough, tough game.'
The bonus for Lambert is, of course, that City now sit second in the Championship table.
'I'm delighted,' he said. 'Another away game, another point, still undefeated in a long, long while. You can't always play constructive football all the time against a team that are fighting for their lives. It is my first time here and it's not an easy place to come, but I'm a great believer that if you are not going to win a game, make sure you don't lose it.
'The feeling I have got for the lads and for the club, proud is probably the word for what we have done and the way we are going and the desire is great.'
Second they may be, but Lambert says he doesn't consider any psychological implications.
'Not at all,' he said. 'It looks good doesn't it? It looks good when your name is sitting second. It is another away game for us, a team coming up from League One last year. It's been a huge rise for the lads and the crowd again, the thousands that are coming to watch us, is great.
'I know in my own mind what those lads have given me, it's been excellent.'
It might have been a different outcome had Grant Holt not skied a shot near the end, although Lambert refused to attach any blame to his skipper.
'It was a chance, albeit it half a chance, because the ball's still got to come down,' he said. 'Sometimes they go in, sometimes that's what can happen.'
By then Tierney had made his first appearance – and shown off his long throw.
'It just shows we are not trying to sit back at nothing each, we are still trying to win the game and if it's a weapon you can use you may as well utilise it,' Lambert said. 'That is Marc's first game for about six weeks or so. He is not totally match fit at the minute, but getting him to the football club was great.'
Getting another, today, might just complete the jigsaw.