Paul Lambert happy with Norwich City progress

Paul Lambert is confident Norwich City will be fit and raring to go for the Premier League kick off.

City slipped to a late 1-0 friendly defeat at Crystal Palace on Tuesday night, but Lambert believes his men are on track for next month's top-flight opener at Wigan.

'It was definitely a step up in terms of opposition and I was delighted with some of the things we did – the way we played and some of the possession was great,' he said. 'We made a lot of changes to give people game time and it will be the same on Thursday and the same on Saturday.

'I said it the other day about the games in Germany that the score was irrelevant. It doesn't really matter. The only game that matters is that first game against Wigan. They know the system because we have been playing it for the last two years. The main priority is to get them up to speed with their fitness levels. I've been in the game long enough to know that it will be totally different when that first game of the season comes around.'

Midfielder Bradley Johnson was withdrawn as a precaution at the interval with a slight knock. Defender Elliott Ward was left out with an injury picked up on the German tour. Adam Drury (calf) could be involved at Southend tomorrow, but James Vaughan (knee) is doubtful for Southend and Coventry on Saturday.


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'James just has a slight problem with his knee that he did in Germany,' said Lambert. 'I don't think he'll be ready before the weekend. Elliott picked up a knock in a clash on the training field in Germany which is giving him a little bit of a cause for concern. He won't be available for Southend.'

Loan signing Kyle Naughton will train with his new team-mates today for the first time after returning from Spurs' South African tour on Sunday.

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