Norwich City enjoy Anthony Pilkington 'bonus'

Anthony Pilkington
Pilkington made his first Norwich appearance on Wednesday

Norwich City boss Paul Lambert has said winger Anthony Pilkington's pre-season fitness is a welcome bonus.

The 23-year-old, who broke his leg and ankle in March, played 20 minutes of City's 1-1 friendly draw with Real Zaragoza on Wednesday.

"I thought he lifted the game when he came on," the Canaries boss told BBC Radio Norfolk.

"He looked very good when he came on and him coming back is a big bonus for us. He's worked really hard."

Lambert, who bought the wideman from Huddersfield in June, added: "I can't rush him back with the injury he's had but he's doing very, very well at the minute."

Midfielder Andrew Crofts and striker Chris Martin were noticeable by their absence against the Spanish side.

But Lambert was unsure whether they would join Elliott Ward and James Vaughan is missing the season-opener against Wigan on Saturday, 13 August.

"Crofty's got an ankle knock from the Coventry game [last week] and Chris had a little problem with his hamstring," the Scot explained.

"We'll have to wait and see how they are."

Norwich's only goal at Carrow Road on Wednesday - in a game disrupted by a floodlight failure brought on by a lightning strike - was scored by Manchester United loanee Ritchie de Laet.

The Belgian centre-half has impressed throughout pre-season.

Lambert said: "People have got to remember he's a young player, but he's very, very quick.

"I don't think he's frightened to go in where it hurts, but I never read too much into friendlies."

Top Stories