Green ruled out for QPR clash

PUBLISHED: 20:23 16 April 2006 | UPDATED: 09:22 14 September 2010

CHRIS WISE

Robert Green missed his first game through injury for over four years at the weekend - but his pre-match setback shouldn't affect his chances of making England's World Cup squad.

Robert Green missed his first game through injury for over four years at the weekend - but his pre-match setback shouldn't affect his chances of making England's World Cup squad.

The Norwich City keeper hurt his ankle while warming up for Saturday's clash with Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough and ended up watching the game from the stands, with patient understudy Paul Gallacher coming in as his replacement.

There was obviously concern for Green's fitness after the game, with Sven Goran Eriksson set to name his squad early next month, but City manager Worthington is convinced he will be back playing again before the end of the season.

The England No 3 will miss this afternoon's home game against QPR, but there's every chance that he will return to action at Cardiff on Saturday - and that will give him a couple of games to prove his fitness before Eriksson announces his 23 for Germany.

Green is now firmly established in the international pecking order behind Paul Robinson and David James and providing there are no more setbacks between now and the end of the month he should still be fulfilling a long-held ambition in a little under seven weeks time.

“Robert was just warming up, everything was going well, and then he slightly tweaked his ankle,” explained Worthington after the game. “It's not too bad but Monday is ruled out and we'll just have to see how he is after that.

“There is nothing to worry about as far as the World Cup is concerned. Robert is a quick healer and all being well he will be fit before the end of the season.”

Green was rested for the Carling Cup second round tie against Northampton in September but this was his first enforced absence since March, 2002 when he missed three games after picking up a strain during a 2-1 defeat at Watford.

That amazing consistency, stretching right back to the play-off final at Cardiff, has made life extremely frustrating for reserve keepers like Gallacher, who has been restricted to friendlies and reserve team outings since joining the Canaries from Dundee United during the summer of 2004.

Having had to wait so long for his first team debut the pressure was firmly on the Scot on Saturday but the late call-up meant there was no time for any nerves to set in and he responded to the challenge by turning in a top quality display.

“Paul was called into play at times and did exceptionally well,” said Worthington. “I am very pleased for him because it is never easy being a second or third choice goalkeeper. It's tough to keep the focus and the high work ethic there but Paul has done that. To come in and perform like he did is a great credit to him.”

Gallacher was also in the wars at the weekend, picking up a painful knock in the latter stages after going for a 50/50 ball with Owls striker Deon Burton, but he should be fit to make his second appearance today.

“Paul is all right,” said Worthington, who will have youngster Joe Lewis standing by just in case. “He got a little knock near the end but all being well he should be okay for QPR. It's now a case of getting everyone ready to go again for Monday.”

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