Norwich City's Daniel Farke and Ipswich Town boss Paul Lambert back new substitution rules

Daniel Farke (left) and Paul Lambert (right). Credit: PA

Norwich City head coach Daniel Farke and Ipswich Town boss Paul Lambert have both given their backing to a move to allow teams five substitutions per match.

The rule change in the EFL will come into effect from Friday when Coventry City take on Birmingham City in the Championship.

From now on, Championship clubs will be able to name nine substitutes on their bench, with five allowed to take to the pitch, while League One and Two clubs can send on five replacements from a substitutes bench of seven.

It's hoped the move will help to reduce the amount of injuries, with this season's fixtures being squeezed into a shorter period of time due to the delayed start of the campaign because of the pandemic.

"It was hard to understand why we didn't start with this (the five substitutions rule) at the beginning of the season," Farke said.

"More or less, each and every country plays under these rules, UEFA plays under these rules, and we had no pre-season or summer break and even more games in a shorter period of time."

Lambert added: "I was against the water breaks, because I thought that was just always stopping the game.

"Five subs I was an advocate of because I thought this would happen with the injuries that would curtail people."

Once again this season, Norwich have had their fair share of injuries, and they will now have to do without youngsters Adam Idah and Bali Mumba who have both been ruled out for 10 weeks after they both damaged knee ligaments.

Adam Idah celebrates scoring against Huddersfield Town earlier this season. Credit: PA

Left-back Xavi Quintilla will also miss Saturday's tough-looking trip to in-form Middlesbrough, but on the plus side, defender Ben Gibson is fit to take on his former club and midfielders Lukas Rupp and Todd Cantwell are back in contention as well.

Elsewhere in the Championship, Luton Town have a home game to look forward to against Blackburn Rovers.

Meanwhile, Lambert revealed two mystery players will sit out Ipswich's clash against Shrewsbury Town at Portman Road on Saturday after they picked up injuries during the week.

Long-term absentees Cole Skuse, Kane Vincent-Young and Flynn Downes all remain on the sidelines.

League One leaders Peterborough United will be hoping to bounce back from their shock defeat to Crewe Alexandra when they host Blackpool, and struggling Northampton Town travel to Burton Albion.

New signing Andrew Surman could make his MK Dons debut when they entertain Hull City, while in League Two, Colchester United get the weekend's action away on Friday evening when they head to Mansfield Town.

Cambridge United are away at bottom of the table Southend United on Saturday, while Stevenage take on Bolton Wanderers.

This weekend's fixtures

Colchester United play Mansfield Town on Friday night. Credit: PA
  • Luton Town v Blackburn Rovers (Championship)

  • Middlesbrough v Norwich City (Championship)

  • Burton Albion v Northampton Town (League One)

  • Ipswich Town v Shrewsbury Town (League One)

  • Peterborough United v Blackpool (League One)

  • MK Dons v Hull City (League One)

  • Mansfield Town v Colchester United (League Two, Friday night kick-off)

  • Southend United v Cambridge United (League Two)

  • Stevenage v Bolton Wanderers (League Two)