Clingan targets Derby date

PUBLISHED: 08:29 25 September 2008 | UPDATED: 15:47 10 September 2010

Sammy Clingan is due to return to full training next week after a shoulder injury, having recovered sonner than expected.

Sammy Clingan is due to return to full training next week after a shoulder injury, having recovered sonner than expected.

Midfielder Sammy Clingan is hopeful of handing Glenn Roeder an injury boost in time for Norwich City's home match against Derby County.

The 24-year-old was expecting to be out until late October after injuring his shoulder while on international duty for Northern Ireland earlier this month.

Midfielder Sammy Clingan is hopeful of handing Glenn Roeder an injury boost in time for Norwich City's home match against Derby County.

The 24-year-old was expecting to be out until late October after injuring his shoulder while on international duty for Northern Ireland earlier this month.

But the former Nottingham Forest man is making a good recovery and will be back in full training next week.

"It's coming on well; it is actually going better than I expected when I first did it. I thought it was going to be around a six-week period but it's healing better than what I thought and hopefully I'll be back as soon as I can, and maybe that will be just over a week.

"I'm working with the physios, I've been running and stuff, so my fitness will be well topped up. But it's just a matter of getting games and the sooner I get back, the more games I can get in."

Norwich face the Rams at Carrow Road on October 4 and should Clingan return in time, it will be his first appearance since City's 1-1 draw with Birmingham at the end of August.

All of which should give him the chance to pick up where he left off, with some powerful and tidy midfield performances that have already made him a favourite among the Carrow Road crowd - something he fully intends to repay on his return.

"They are a great set of fans. I have actually sat in among them as well since I've been injured and they do get behind the players, which is good to see and I just want to get on to the pitch and repay the faith the fans have shown in me so far," added Clingan, who admits he does not enjoy being restricted to a spectator's role.

"When I'm injured, it's horrible watching the games but you have to do it to support your team-mates," he said. "When you're injured you always want to be out there playing and it can be quite frustrating, but I'm just going to try and stay strong mentally, get back as soon as possible and start pushing on from there.

"It's always frustrating but it is just one of those things that happens and you've just got to be strong enough to get on with it. I've had a few injuries in my career and I have always come back a stronger player.

"I'm just looking forward to getting back on to the pitch again and hopefully making Norwich City a better team."

Clingan has missed three games since his injury - two of which brought three points for Glenn Roeder's side - and the midfielder, who joined City as a free agent from Forest during the summer, is not expecting to be handed back his place in the starting XI as soon as he is available to play.

"I'm not expecting to come back and walk straight back into the team, not at all. I knew from the start of the season there was going to be competition for places and when people get injured, there would always be someone there who's going to step in," said the Northern Irishman.

"I'll be looking to go back, train hard and hopefully get back in as soon as I can, but I'm not expecting to walk straight back into the team."

Although Clingan's recovery has been speedy, the shoulder injury he suffered was a nasty one while playing for the Irish against the Czech Republic in their 0-0 draw at Windsor Park little more than two weeks ago.

"Our central defender played me in a ball from the back and there was a lad coming up," he said.

"I've run on for the ball, he's gone down the back of my ankle and I went down holding it but I wasn't able to break my fall with my arms.

"I landed straight on my shoulder and I knew I had done something straight away. There were only two minutes left to half-time, so I thought I could give it until then and see how it was during the break. Once I went into the dressing room, I knew there was no way I could have played on."

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