Alex Neil labels Norwich City midfielder Graham Dorrans’ knee ligament injury a ‘ridiculous incident’
PUBLISHED: 09:19 27 December 2016 | UPDATED: 09:19 27 December 2016
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Graham Dorrans’ freak injury exit at Reading was a ‘ridiculous’ incident for Norwich City boss Alex Neil.
Dorrans will now be assessed by the club’s medical staff over the coming days to discover the extent of the medial knee ligament damage suffered in a bizarre tussle with Royals’ captain Paul McShane.
The Irish defender appeared to kick Dorrans in a bid to take a quick home free kick during the first-half of Monday’s 3-1 Championship win for the hosts.
Neil has already ruled Dorrans out of the New Year’s Eve trip to Brentford and City will also be without Jonny Howson after the captain’s red card for handling the ball on his own line in an episode that led to a penalty eventually converted by Garath McCleary.
“We need to find out the extent but when the lad gets up and immediately has to come off it is not a good sign,” said Neil. “I found it absolutely bizarre that the ball is at Graham’s feet and Paul McShane has nearly taken his knee off and damaged the medial ligament. I don’t know the extent but that is one of our key players missing now for a ridiculous incident in the game. I am not interested in whether the lad apologised or not. It was unnecessary.
“There was a break in the game. I could understand the frustration if Graham is trying to prevent the free kick being taken but he just has the ball at his feet and the lad runs and takes a pot shot at the ball. It adds to the frustration. I have now lost Jonny and Graham.”
Neil’s decision to replace goalscorer Nelson Oliveira sparked further frustration with the travelling support after Norwich had been reduced to 10-men, in a repeat of the hostile reaction at Carrow Road to his withdrawal in the pre-Christmas home defeat to Huddersfield.
“I felt when we went down to 10 men we needed a bit of pace in behind,” said Neil. “Cameron is the quickest player we have got so naturally he can stretch it and make the game long and get in on the counter-attack because when you have 10 men it is difficult to control the ball from that point.
“I thought Nelson came alive in the second half but his first was not as good as he is capable of. We let it run for five minutes or so after the red card but we felt to have pace at the top end of the pitch would be the best option.”