Otsemobor praised for display on return

PUBLISHED: 13:08 01 September 2008 | UPDATED: 15:44 10 September 2010

Jon Otsemobor rose to the challenge. Photo: James Bass

Jon Otsemobor rose to the challenge. Photo: James Bass

David Cuffley

Jon Otsemobor came in from the cold to the heat of battle against the Championship leaders and emerged with a pat on the back from Norwich City boss Glenn Roeder.

Jon Otsemobor came in from the cold to the heat of battle against the Championship leaders and emerged with a pat on the back from Norwich City boss Glenn Roeder.

The attacking right-back had not even made the 16 for a Championship game this season before facing Birmingham at Carrow Road, after being restricted to just one appearance in the Carling Cup defeat at MK Dons.

But Otsemobor was recalled because of a thigh strain suffered in training by on-loan Elliot Omozusi and was praised for his contribution.

“He came in for what was a very difficult game,” said Roeder. “He hasn't played a lot of football because Elliot has kept him out of the team, so to come into such an important game today, playing the team at the top of the table, he did very well overall.

“I thought he tired in the end, which is understandable, but you could only measure his performance by the fact they took off Quincy (Owusu-Abeyie) at half-time because he was ineffective and that would have been down to Jon.”

Omozusi will almost certainly be fit, however, for the next league game at Plymouth on September 13.

“I could have played him today but I'm a very patient person,” said Roeder. “I don't believe he would have completed the game.

“I think there was a chance he would have pulled his thigh muscle rather than just have it strained at the moment, from one heavy training session on Wednesday.

“I think if there was game next Saturday he would be fit to play, so there's no doubt about him being fit for selection against Plymouth.”

Roeder said City's players would be working hard despite a fortnight's break from league action.

“We will do what we feel we need to do in terms of training and rest before we go to Plymouth, but the players won't be having very much time off,” he said. “They'll be doing a lot of hard physical work this week and probably get next weekend off if they're lucky.”

Roeder had no doubts about who was the better side on Saturday.

“That would have been outrageous had Birmingham won that game - absolutely disgusting,” he said.

“I think Alex is feeling rather fortunate that he's got a point. So we've got to take lots of credit from the game. It's hugely disappointing yet again, not to have won, only to have picked up a point but we've got to take a lot of positives from that performance and move on to Plymouth in a couple of weeks looking for that first win that we so deserve.

“I think we've been very good in the other three games, but that 45 minutes against the team at the top of the table at times was exhilarating.

“It's not often when you're the home team and you're a goal down at half-time, you get a standing ovation when you leave the pitch, which the supporters gave us, and rightly so, and the same at the end of the game.”

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