Norwood: I’m fit and available

Town striker James Norwood has declared himself available for selection tomorrow despite being substituted during the first half at MK Dons on Tuesday.

“It’s OK, I’m training today, fit for selection for tomorrow so things are looking good. It’s all settled down well,” Norwood said.

“It’s something I’ve been carrying, it just had a little bit too much on Tuesday but I’m good to go.”

Yes, of course,” he said. “I think [that’s the case] any time you have to come off. I think that’s the first time I’ve come off with an injury in my career, so it was a bit of a shock, I didn’t really know how to handle it but the main thing is that it settled right down and I’m training three days later.”

Reflecting on the win against the MK Dons, he added: “Brilliant. It was everything we want. We played free-flowing, attacking football in the first half and it was backs against the wall for the last 10 minutes of the second.

“We showed a resilience and fight to keep a clean sheet. Big Tommy was incredible in goal and the back four was solid, they dealt with everything flying into our box. We showed both sides of our game.”

Asked how he goes about managing the injury, he said: “Just anything I can do really. I liaise with the physio every day and let him know how I’m feeling so if I have to taper down on a certain day then I’ll do that.

“But ultimately I’ll go out and train every day and just carry on. I think it’s just about feeling the pain but just fighting it as such.

“I’ve played injured, you ask any footballer, you don’t feel 100 per cent any of the time, you’re just happy as long you can get through training, get through games and your performance level doesn’t drop too far, then you’re good to go.”

Lambert was asked this morning if he is confident Norwood would be available for selection at Gillingham: “He seems to be. I’ll see how everybody else is, I’ll see how they all are this morning and see if there’s any reaction to Tuesday night.”

“I’ve seen players come off before in early parts of the game and then they’re fit on the Saturday.

“It all depends on that given moment and that given time and hopefully it’s not too serious. He’ll train this morning and then we’ll judge it from there like we normally do.” 
  
With the injury a reoccurrence of his injury at Tranmere could the forward need managing in terms of minutes this season.
  
“That might be the case,” Lambert concurred. “We’ll have to have a look at it and maybe curtail training or certain games or whatever it is. We’ll see how it is, and we’ll have plenty of dialogue from now until then.” 

Norwood was replaced by Will Keane but Lambert says Keane isn’t yet ready to start matches.

“No, I don’t think so,” he continued. “I think that’s a big ask because of the amount of time Will’s been out.

“There’s a few of them there where it was their first 90 minutes for a good time, so we’ll see how they are this morning, and I’ll decide from there.”

Luke Garbutt, Jon Nolan and Emyr Huws all started on Tuesday after returning from injury, something Lambert again will need to manage.
  
“The lads haven’t played and two games in a week is hard going,” Lambert added. “But listen, the lads are totally fine and they’re ready to go, the team’s going really well so I’ll decide.”

He says Tuesday’s first league start was a big step for Huws: “Massive, I think psychologically it was huge for him. I’m delighted with his performance, he set up the goal with a terrific cross.

“At the time I thought it was Garbutt that crossed it but it was Emyr, so I’m really happy with him and how he performed.

“The secret is to keep him fit and contributing, whether it’s off the bench or starting games I think it’s great for him.”

“The pleasing thing is the ones that are coming back are big players, which is important.

“I said eight weeks ago sitting at Burton with three young kids on the bench that it was never enough, never in a million years was it enough, and it’s been proven right.

“That was the case because we’ve utilised every player to come back, and every player has performed, so that’s the pleasing thing.”

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