Norwich City defender Tierney rated ‘50:50’ for Fulham
Paul Lambert revealed on Friday morning left back Marc Tierney is only '50:50' to recover from a groin injury in time to face Fulham tomorrow in the Premier League at Carrow Road.
Tierney had been the only ever-present starter in the league this campaign for the Canaries, but missed Tottenham's visit earlier this week after picking up an injury in training over the festive period. Lambert will make a late decision on Tierney's fitness ahead of the Cottagers' visit. Lambert also confirmed at his Colney pre-match briefing fellow defender Ritchie De Laet had been withdrawn against Spurs with a severe bout of cramp. The Manchester United loanee, however, has aggravated his long-standing back problem but will continue to be assessed by City's medical staff. Full back Kyle Naughton comes back into contention after missing out against his parent club.
'Marc is feeling a bit better today,' said Lambert. 'We'll have to wait and see how he feels over the next 24 hours. I'll decide from there. I'm not sure (if he will be fit). I'll need to have a chat with him and let him tell me how he is feeling. I'd say his chances are 50:50. Ritchie had a severe bout of cramp because he had not played for a long, long time. He'd not really done much training if the truth be known but he did really fine. He has got a wee problem with his back at the minute as well. It's a re-occurrence of the same problem so he is another one we'll have to wait and see if he misses either of the next two games.
'Kyle comes back in because we couldn't have played him anyway due to the agreement with Spurs. He has done great for us, so that is pleasing.'
Lambert confirmed he has no fresh injury worries to his frontline troops for upcoming games against Fulham and the New Year trip to QPR. Centre back Elliott Ward and striker James Vaughan are both making good progress from longer term knee injuries.
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'Wardy is still a wee bit away from it,' said Lambert. 'But he is out running with the physios now alongside James. The two of them are feeling pretty good at the minute. We'll definitely need them over the second part of the season.'
Lambert expects the customary positive response from his squad to adversity after drawing a rare blank against title-challenging Spurs in midweek.
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'They are a brilliant side. A top side,' he said. 'We do what we can to win games. Yeah, disappointed to lose and not to score. If we had scored, would we have won the game? I'm not so sure, I'm not so sure and that is just me being realistic. They have great movement, some world class footballers and a lad who is right on top of his game at the minute. For an hour we competed with them and tried everything we could to get a goal but you are up against a team vying for the Premier League. I couldn't fault my lads, they gave me everything they had but that is not who we are competing against.'