Close to full strength for Roeder

PUBLISHED: 12:18 15 August 2008 | UPDATED: 15:41 10 September 2010

Michael Bailey

Norwich City will almost be back to full strength for the start of their Carrow Road Coca-Cola Championship campaign against Blackpool tomorrow (3pm).

Manager Glenn Roeder is expected to welcome back central defensive pair John Kennedy and Dejan Stefanovic, after they were rested for Tuesday night's Carling Cup first round defeat at MK Dons, with Elliot Omozusi returning to right-back.

Norwich City will almost be back to full strength for the start of their Carrow Road Coca-Cola Championship campaign against Blackpool tomorrow (3pm).

Manager Glenn Roeder is expected to welcome back central defensive pair John Kennedy and Dejan Stefanovic, after they were rested for Tuesday night's Carling Cup first round defeat at MK Dons, with Elliot Omozusi returning to right-back.

On-loan Chelsea starlet Ryan Bertrand could be in contention for a recall to the Canaries' starting XI after resuming training this week, although the game may yet come too soon for him.

However, Roeder is hesitant to throw fellow left-back Adam Drury immediately into Championship action following his first full appearance after 10 months out in midweek.

“Ryan's trained with the second group this week but I didn't risk him for that [behind closed doors practice game],” said Roeder. “Adam was terrific on Tuesday. The only thing we've got to be concerned about with Adam is the bounce effect.

“When you drop a ball the first bounce is the highest, the next bounce is lower and lower. When I was at West Ham, Paulo di Canio had been out for three or four months and then played against Blackburn on the Wednesday night and won the game for us, he was absolutely magnificent - and on the Sunday we played Liverpool and he was non existent.

“We've just got o be careful with Adam. Yes he might play, depending on Ryan, but he might not and if he doesn't play it will be nothing to do with his performance. I thought he was very, very good. The longer the game went the better he was getting.

“We need him to stay fit all year because he will play many games for us. I'm very much an Adam Drury fan but I will protect him as much as I can as well.”

With David Bell and Gary Doherty long-term absentees through injury, Darel Russell is pushing for a starting place and may well get the nod ahead of Lee Croft on the right of midfield, although Roeder may be tempted to push Russell into a more forward role with the manager's search for a dominant striker yet to bear fruit.

Either way, Roeder will have to decide whether to reinstate Jamie Cureton to the starting line-up, after handing Omar Koroma and Arturo Lupoli striking duties at StadiumMK.

With Norwich looking for their first points and goals of the 2008/9 campaign, Wes Hoolahan is all set to start against the club he left to join Norwich in the summer.

Going the other way as part of the move was goalkeeper Matthew Gilks, who is expected to start on the bench for the Seasiders, who have also lost their opening two games without hitting the back of the net and the Seasiders will be almost completely changed from the side which won 2-1 at Carrow Road last season, following a summer of player upheaval in Simon Grayson's squad.

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