Grant may take a chance on Thorne

PUBLISHED: 11:05 27 November 2006 | UPDATED: 09:51 14 September 2010

DAVID CUFFLEY

Striker Peter Thorne could yet have a part to play for City in the weeks ahead if manager Peter Grant switches to a 4-4-2 formation. The 33-year-old forward, who has started just one first team match this season, played the final half-hour of Saturday's 1-1 draw against Hull and had a hand - or rather a head - in former Cardiff team-mate Robert Earnshaw's 12th goal of the season.

Striker Peter Thorne could yet have a part to play for City in the weeks ahead if manager Peter Grant switches to a 4-4-2 formation.

The 33-year-old forward, who has started just one first team match this season, played the final half-hour of Saturday's 1-1 draw against Hull and had a hand - or rather a head - in former Cardiff team-mate Robert Earnshaw's 12th goal of the season.

And Grant admitted he would consider playing with twin strikers if he could be sure of Thorne's fitness.

He said of Thorne: “I thought he was excellent when he came on. I thought he was fantastic."

But Grant said his formation was dictated by the players at his disposal.

“The shape we're in at this moment in time suits the players we have available. Thorney's had just one game in the reserves and when I said last week that I left Dion Dublin on the bench it was for that particular reason, because I've never played with one striker up front, never, especially a small one.

“I think it causes you problems at times but with the players we have available that's all we could do. Whether Thorney could last 90 minutes, as I say, I've not seen him, he's been injured for a long time, but I think there's only been one 90 minutes he's played in the reserves. It's a difficult one to judge because match fitness is completely different from training fitness."

Grant said Gary Doherty's ankle injury meant he couldn't use Dublin alongside Earnshaw in attack on Saturday, and Doherty's return is not guaranteed, even if he's fit for tomorrow's visit of Leicester to Carrow Road.

“I don't know if he'll be fit, but he'll find it difficult anyway, because Dion was outstanding today again,” said Grant.

“To be fair, Doc had been doing ever so well at centre-back and I just felt I had to utilise Dion further up the pitch, but now we know that Thorney can have an effect on the game, then we'll just see how he reacts to this because he's only played whatever it was, 25 or 30 minutes there and we'll have to see how he responds to that with a game coming as quick as Tuesday."

City have yet to score more than once in a match since Grant's arrival, but he said: “If we weren't creating chances, I'd be a little bit more concerned. It's a system that I've never played before but I still think we've got chances in that system but as I say, I've got to have players available to change it and I've not got the players available who're 100 per cent fit yet to be able to change that.”

Asked why Moroccan international midfielder Youssef Safri was left on the bench again, he declined to elaborate.

"Because I pick the team,” said Grant.

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