Lambert: Norwood is Definitely a Goal Threat
Tuesday, 25th Jun 2019 13:55
Manager Paul Lambert believes striker James Norwood, who has been given additional time off this summer along with Alan Judge, has a goalscoring instinct and thinks he will be great for the club having netted 32 times as Tranmere won promotion from League Two via the play-offs in 2018/19.
Lambert explained why Norwood, who joined on a free transfer from Tranmere earlier in the month, and Alan Judge had been given extra time away.
“We gave him and Judgey a bit of extra time because James had the play-off games and Judgey had the international games [with the Republic of Ireland], so we gave them time.”
Regarding the signing of Norwood, he added: “I’d watched him for Tranmere before the season finished and he did really well in the game, and the good thing about him is that he looks like he can score different types of goals.
“He’s a different type and he’s played a hell of a lot of games over three years, I think he’s played over 150 games, so he never really misses games.
“He knows what the game is about, he’s experienced, and he’s clever with it, and if he does what he did last season, then we’ve got a really good player."
He continued: “I saw him before the season finished when I went to see Tranmere play and I saw him and thought the lad is definitely a goal threat in the penalty box.
“His movement was really good, and he got on the end of things really well, and if you score 32 goals it doesn’t matter what division you’re in, if you score 32 in any shape of football you know you’ve got a goalscoring instinct, and I think he’ll be great for this club.”
Would the 28-year-old have made a big difference last season? “I thought we played really in a lot of games without getting the rewards.
"We came through a lot of games where we played well, dominated games and had some great chances to put the game to bed but it never materialised.
“There’s no blame attached to anybody, that’s football. Anxiety creeps in, young guys maybe don’t know how to handle the occasion and how to handle those sorts of situations, but it is what it was, we can’t change it, and we move on and try everything we can to get out of this league.”
Quizzed on whether he has any concerns regarding Judge’s fitness, the midfielder having suffered an injury while with Ireland, he said: “He and James will come in just before we go to Germany due to their commitments with Ireland and Tranmere’s play-off games.
“Obviously, Judgey has his broken wrist. He’s doing fine, and we have to wait and see how he’s feeling. I spoke to him the other week there to see how he was, and he wasn’t too bad, I’ll see Judgey and see how he feels.”
Asked about where he plans to play Judge, he said: "If you want to pick the team, then you can probably take my shirt!
"I’ll decide where I want to play Judgey, I know what he can do anywhere, and he can play anywhere across the front, or he can play in midfield.
"I’ve got something in my head with it. Jack Lankester’s is coming back, and Danny Rowe’s here so I might look somewhere else, but I know exactly where I think we should strengthen."
Also missing from this morning’s training session were Gwion Edwards, who had a groin problem at the end of last season, but Jack Lankester was involved having been sidelined towards the end of 2018/19 with a stress fracture to his back.
“Gwion’s doing really well, he’s got one more week I think and then he’ll be ready to join in with everybody else,” Lambert said.
“Jack’s doing really well, he’s a bit behind it but at least he’s back out with us on the pitch again. He’s doing well as well, not quite ready.”
Among the longer term injured is Freddie Sears, who underwent ACL surgery in February but Lambert says everyone else is fit going into pre-season: “Freddie, his situation is still ongoing, but other than that everybody is good.”
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