Hughes rated touch and go

PUBLISHED: 12:22 23 February 2006 | UPDATED: 09:14 14 September 2010

RICK WAGHORN

City boss Nigel Worthington today confirmed that the Canaries would make a late decision on injured midfielder Andy Hughes ahead of Saturday's potentially crucial clash with Crystal Palace.

City boss Nigel Worthington today confirmed that the Canaries would make a late decision on injured midfielder Andy Hughes ahead of Saturday's potentially crucial clash with Crystal Palace.

The fact that Hughes was effectively the one and only slight injury doubt ahead of the trip the Selhurst Park is in itself a huge improvement on what has been an utterly wretched season injury-wise.

“Andy Hughes will be very much touch and go,” said Worthington. “We'll just see what he's like and make a decision from there.”

The fact that the under-pressure City boss has a full complement of senior professionals to select from was, he said with feeling, “a really lovely position to be in”.

Who steps into Hughes' shoes was something for Palace boss Iain Dowie to worry about.

“It will be one from Carl Robinson, Dickson Etuhu or Jason Jarrett,” said Worthington.

Up front, however, he did reveal that his four-man strike force of Darren Huckerby, Rob Earnshaw, Peter Thorne and Jonatan Johansson would remain undisturbed - despite the telling impact that the late arrivals of Messrs McKenzie and McVeigh have had on proceedings.

In the case of McKenzie, in particular, the manager continues to tread warily following the City striker's own luckless run with injury.

An excellent run-out against Chelsea Reserves on Monday night suggested that McKenzie's start might not be too fast distance, but for now it was still a case of safety first.

“Leon's been out for a long, long time and we've got to be fair to him,” said Worthington.

“The role he's playing now is good for Leon and good for us. And the other boys have done well.”

What the other boys also offer - particularly in the case of Huckerby and Earnshaw, is truly frightening pace.

“We've now got great pace down the flank and great pace down the middle - that's something that we've not been blessed with an abundance of since I've been at the football club and it's a lovely position to be in.

“The game is becoming ever faster and you need to have good legs to be a high profile footballer. You see that at the top level - if you look at them they are all great athletes.”

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