Norwich City’s lucky break

Paul Lambert was left counting his blessings after Saturday's encounter at Cardiff.

The Canaries boss saw a clutch of players grounded by knocks during the weekend defeat and admitted he was relieved the fixture list hadn't landed City with a midweek game.

Skipper Grant Holt was left hobbling in the centre circle after a late challenge in the second half, left-back Steven Smith needed treatment after a knock on the foot in the first half and Wes Hoolahan left the pitch with a bloody nose sustained when he scored City's goal.

Holt and Smith recovered to last the full distance while Hoolahan was substituted nine minutes from time as Lambert threw on another striker in an attempt to salvage something from the game.

With five first team players – Andrew Surman, Stephen Hughes, Michael Nelson, Adam Drury and Zak Whitbread – sidelined by injury, Lambert admitted he cannot afford to lose any more.

'We can't, because we have not got a massively big squad,' said Lambert, whose team face a home test against Burnley on Saturday before a midweek trip to Millwall and then an early evening kick-off at Reading.

'Grant got hit in the centre circle and takes a knock and the referee doesn't do anything about it and then books Grant 10 minutes later for something, which is strange.

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'I'm glad there's no midweek game, that's for sure.'

Holt picked up his second booking of the season, having fouled Kevin McNaughton in the dying stages of the game. Leon Barnett is two away from a suspension, after a foul on Craig Bellamy, and Andrew Crofts picked up his fourth yellow card of the season after being cautioned for a foul on Jay Bothroyd.