Norwich City’s future in safe hands with Steer and Rudd

They're two young men preserving Norwich City's tradition for raising its own quality goalkeepers – and Paul Lambert admits it hard to choose between Declan Rudd and Jed Steer.

Rudd – the senior partner, at 20, two years old than Steer – has generally been accepted as the number two to John Ruddy. A broken jaw kept him out for six weeks, but he returned to the subs' bench at Barnsley last weekend, with Steer heading back into the Academy line-up.

It was a stint with the first team squad that Lambert believes will have helped Steer in just the same way as it does Rudd – and the City boss says the gap between the two is narrowing.

'I think the experience will definitely help him,' Lambert said. 'He (Steer) is actually unlucky a little bit, because he came with us to Germany (in pre-season) and he never let himself down, he was excellent and I think he is going to have a big, big future.

'He is only a young lad starting out, but every time he has trained with the first team he's grown up really, really quickly so hopefully he will be a good goalkeeper.

'There is not much between them now. It is getting harder as the time goes on. The thing with goalkeepers is you have only have one lad breathing down your neck, so they know the competition is there and it is up to each other to push themselves through.

'I think if you ask John (Ruddy) that himself he needs people breathing down his neck and that's what he has got to have.'

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Rudd is likely to get the nod again today against Preston, with Lambert reporting no new injury issues.

Chris Martin is still out for a matter of weeks with a hamstring injury and Leon Barnett is set to miss the rest of the season with a worse problem in the same area which required surgery.

Simon Lappin had surgery to remove his appendix a fortnight ago and is already back in rehab, although Lambert says 'he's not a long way off – he's doing fine.'

If there are any questions it may concern the left-back role, where Marc Tierney took over from Adam Drury last weekend, and the second striker's position, which went to Wes Hoolahan.

'He (Drury) has played one hell of a lot of games,' said Lambert. 'Last year he played nearly every game, this year he has played nearly every one and we just thought the little niggly things that have been going wrong we just had to protect him a little bit.'

Who partners who in attack will be revealed this afternoon.

'It's just whatever I decide I think is going to win a game, that's what we pick,' said Lambert. 'He (Hoolahan) did it against Charlton last year, the 2-2 game, so I don't think it was anything new to him.'

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