Norwich new boys impress the gaffer

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Paul Lambert singled out Anthony Pilkington and goalscorer Ritchie De Laet for praise after his Norwich City side drew with Real Zaragoza in their penultimate first team pre-season friendly, with Parma coming up on Saturday.

Manchester United loanee De Laet opened the scoring for the Canaries inside 15 minutes, only for Braulio to equalise just before half time.

The match was close to being called off after lightning took out two sets of floodlights, but the match resumed after ten minutes and, after battling to a draw, Lambert expressed his delight in the performance of two of his summer recruits.

Lambert said: "I thought Pilkington lifted the game when he came on, he looked very good and that is a big bonus for us having him coming back.

"He has worked really hard with the fitness lads here, I can't rush him back after the injury he had, but he is doing very well at the minute."

On De Laet, who spent last season on loan at Portsmouth, the Scot said: "He's very quick Ritchie. We've got to remember he is very young, but we'll see how he does throughout the season. I don't think he's afraid to go in where it hurts, but friendlies I never read too much into."


Zaragoza finished 13th in La Liga last season, and provided a solid test for Lambert’s newly-promoted side, one that has undergone wholesale changes this summer.

"It's a different game," Lambert added. "They sit off and press you in different areas to what a British team would, so it's a different game of football.

"I don't think the game was at full speed or at full power really because of the nature of the friendly. The good thing is that hopefully nobody is injured.

"The main concern is that everyone is okay, we'll try and get Saturday out the way and that's us in it for real."

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