City striker search hits problem

PUBLISHED: 10:10 09 August 2008 | UPDATED: 15:40 10 September 2010

Leon McKenzie in action for Norwich City against Coventry on the opening day of the 2005-6 season. Today McKenzie will be lining up against the Canaries, most probably on the bench. Picture: Steve Adams

Leon McKenzie in action for Norwich City against Coventry on the opening day of the 2005-6 season. Today McKenzie will be lining up against the Canaries, most probably on the bench. Picture: Steve Adams

City's hopes of completing the final piece of Glenn Roeder's summer transfer jigsaw have hit a stumbling block.

The City manager is desperate to bring a physical presence to Carrow Road to lend muscle to his attack, but his target man is proving hard to dislodge from his present club.

City's hopes of completing the final piece of Glenn Roeder's summer transfer jigsaw have hit a stumbling block.

The City manager is desperate to bring a physical presence to Carrow Road to lend muscle to his attack, but his target man is proving hard to dislodge from his present club.

“We have targeted one player in particular, but his club is being very difficult - not to deal with but difficult to hold them to a promise they made to a player,” he said.

“I thought I would have done it yesterday but we just got a little bit of a knock back again, but we will keep going, we will keep pursuing it and try as much as we can to make the club keep the promise it made to the player.

“But I don't want to go into too many games without that type of striker in the team.”

Roeder admitted he had considered a move for Clinton Morrison, who is likely to make his Coventry debut against the Canaries today after moving from Crystal Palace.

He said: “He has got a proven track record, he did well at Palace last year, but I am happy with the two boys that we signed, and as far as this year's team rebuilding is concerned that larger physical striker is the one that we are seeking - Morrison's not that.”

Central defender Troy Archibald-Henville is the latest addition to Roeder's squad, coming in from Spurs on a season-long loan on Thursday as cover for the injured Gary Doherty. He travels today, but may have to be content with a place on the bench at best.

“Doc is going to be out for three months and that was the reason for bringing young Troy in,” said Roeder. “We don't know what we've got with him yet but hopefully we've got a budding first team player at Spurs over the next three or four years.”

Roeder's intention of two-for-one coverage of every position on the park is best illustrated on either side of his defence. Jon Otsemobor's domination of the right back slot is under threat from on-loan Elliott Ü from back page

Omozusi, while Adam Drury and Ryan Bertrand could be battling it out on the left.

“We are starting to build pressure on everyone's place,” said Roeder as he surveyed the make-up of his new-look squad.

“We have two right backs - Jon Otsemobor now has serious competition for his place, Adam Drury has serious competition for his place with Ryan Bertrand. I think in the full-back areas there won't be anyone better than us, I really don't.

“Elliott is going to play a lot of games here and Jon has got to fight for his place - like Elliott has got to fight for his place. It is going to be interesting over the coming season how the fight for the left-back spot between Ryan and Adam goes, because they are two quality left backs.

“At centre back unfortunately Doc got injured, but there's Shacks (Jason Shackell) and (Dejan) Stefanovic and Doc and John Kennedy.”

Perhaps the biggest conundrum is in midfield, where even now Roeder may add another utility player.

“Centre midfield there is competition - wide right when David Bell gets fit, and wide left; Wes (Hoolahan) hasn't got that shirt to himself because as we know, Ryan Bertrand can push forward into that position and do a very good job, particularly away from home to give us a strong-looking starting XI, and Matty Pattison can go and play out there. It is a stronger looking team.”

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