Injuries mar fine finale to City's tour of Scotland

PUBLISHED: 11:45 20 July 2009 | UPDATED: 16:22 10 September 2010

Goran Maric is unmarked as he rises to head Norwich City's second goal against Airdrie United. Picture: David Lamb

Goran Maric is unmarked as he rises to head Norwich City's second goal against Airdrie United. Picture: David Lamb

Chris Lakey

Injuries to a trio of players took the shine off the finale to a three-game tour of Scotland in which City finally rediscovered what it means to win a game of football.

Injuries to a trio of players took the shine off the finale to a three-game tour of Scotland in which City finally rediscovered what it means to win a game of football.

The Canaries headed back to Norfolk today with three wins out of three - and three calf strains which need to be sorted out before business becomes much more serious. Wes Hoolahan - who was brilliant at times at Airdrie - Matty Pattison and impressive triallist Goran Maric all picked up similar injuries, and will join Cody McDonald (knee), Korey Smith (groin) and Luke Daley (thigh) in the treatment room.

It's the sort of casualty list that can be expected from a tour and Gunn might just be thankful that the plaster of Paris and crutches weren't needed.

“They are getting the full ice treatment and hopefully they will settle down quite quickly, but it is probably too early to assess. Hopefully, once we get back to Norwich they will be with the physio for a small amount of time and then back on the training field.

“We finished today with our fifth game in eight days so it has taken a little toll on some of them but, all in all, I am pleased with the fitness levels and obviously some of the play today was excellent.

Hoolahan played in a role just behind strikers Maric and Jamie Cureton and revelled in it. “We're not blessed with wide players at the moment, but Wes likes that role and he showed today that he can play it,” Gunn said. “He was excellent in the first half and he capped it off with a goal - and it's not often that you see Wes Hoolahan scoring with a header.”

The tour finale ended in not only torrential rain, but with City down to 10 men after Hoolahan's departure and all subs used. “I think we had a total of 26 players who played for us in the last three games so it was a good opportunity for getting those minutes today,” Gunn said.

“When Wes went off for the last 10, 15 minutes we didn't have any more subs. It was good to see the lads organise themselves and get a shape where they made it very difficult for them to

be beaten.”

Gunn's tour verdict was no surprise.

“Fantastic,” he said. “It was very well planned. Mark Garfoot and I came up to see the facilities in March and we put plans into operation then. We have been looked after in a very professional manner - the facilities we had at St Andrews were excellent, the three pitches that we played on (Raith and at the St Andrews training centre and here) have been excellent as well so, all in all, we are delighted with it.

“Obviously the backing of the fans which has again surprised everybody in turning up in the numbers that they have is first class. The team bonding, the camaraderie that the guys have shown around the halls of residence that we were in and also around the hotel - it's all part and parcel of it, and it's all gelling well.

“We have told them they worked really hard, they have done, they have got the minutes under their belt now. We just hope the little strains that have been picked up, the niggles, we can get rid of quickly.”

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