Huckerby 50-50 in fitness battle

PUBLISHED: 11:20 10 March 2008 | UPDATED: 15:27 10 September 2010

David Cuffley

Darren Huckerby has only an outside chance of being fit for selection as Norwich City take on promotion-chasing Stoke at Carrow Road tomorrow night.

Huckerby is on the mend after missing the past two matches with a groin injury, but Saturday's trip to Sheffield United may be a more realistic target for a return to action than the clash with the Potters.

Darren Huckerby has only an outside chance of being fit for selection as Norwich City take on promotion-chasing Stoke at Carrow Road tomorrow night.

Huckerby is on the mend after missing the past two matches with a groin injury, but Saturday's trip to Sheffield United may be a more realistic target for a return to action than the clash with the Potters.

“He has got a chance. Where he had no chance these last two games, he's 50-50, which is never a really good stat. It at least gives him a better chance for Saturday,” said manager Glenn Roeder.

Roeder has to reorganise in the absence of suspended duo Gary Doherty and Darel Russell, both sent off in the 1-0 defeat at Coventry on Saturday. Doherty faces a one-match ban while Russell will be out for two games after his second red in successive matches.

Spanish full-back Juan Velasco, substituted after just 21 minutes at Coventry, is also doubtful with a thigh injury.

“Unfortunately for Juan, he got caught on the rebound, really, with a second game quickly after not playing first team football for eight months or so,” said Roeder.

“But the ironic thing is we had a long training session on Thursday and he looked the one who was the freshest of all of them out there. It gave me encouragement that the game actually brought him on a lot by the way he trained Thursday.

“I just thought Saturday, in that opening period, he looked so tired so quickly, and of course the goal came from that side as well and they could have scored again from that side just after we conceded. I'm paid to make decisions and it's not nice being brought off so early in the game, but so be it.”

The City boss is looking for a big improvement after just one win in six matches.

He said: “We've had a very indifferent week apart from the second-half performance at Watford, where we did very well.

“We need to get the season going again tomorrow night and it couldn't be a better game.”

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