McVeigh is losing his injury battle

PUBLISHED: 12:44 29 March 2006 | UPDATED: 09:19 14 September 2010

Paul McVeigh is a major doubt for Saturday's clash with Leicester at Carrow Road. According to Nigel Worthington, the Irishman's recovery from a back injury he sustained in the 2-1 win over Sheffield United is taking longer than was first expected and it would be something of a surprise if he recovered in time to play against the Foxes.

Norwich City midfielder Paul McVeigh is a major doubt for Saturday's clash with Leicester at Carrow Road.

According to City boss Nigel Worthington, the Irishman's recovery from a back injury he sustained in the 2-1 win over Sheffield United is taking longer than was first expected and it would be something of a surprise if he recovered in time to play against the Foxes.

“The impact of the fall was a very heavy one and his recovery is very slow at the moment,” said Worthington. “It's very doubtful at the moment that he'll have recovered sufficiently in time for the weekend.”

McVeigh, who has scored seven times in the league this season, has a ready-made replacement in the shape of on-loan Charlton man Jonatan Johansson, but it would still be a major blow for the Canaries if he failed to make it for Saturday.

The fans' favourite recently earned a year's extension to his contract after turning in a string of top-quality performances and has played a key role in the run that has seen City keep alive their slim chances of reaching the end-of-season play-offs.

McVeigh set up both goals in the 2-1 victory over Stoke, scored an excellent one himself in the 2-2 draw at Leeds and then played a key role in the fine 2-1 win over Sheffield United before being forced out of the action early in the second half.

Meanwhile, Worthington is determined for his side to get back on track after Friday night's disappointing defeat by Burnley at Turf Moor. It was a massive missed opportunity as fellow promotion hopefuls Preston, Wolves and Cardiff also failed to win their respective Coca-Cola Championship fixtures the following day.

“If we had got the three points the door would be wide open for us now but we missed the chance,” admitted Worthington. “We played well for the first 20 minutes, but we did not maintain it. We defended pretty poorly for their two goals and that's disappointing.”

He added: “Simon Charlton had to fill in after Adam Drury went off, but we brought on Rob Earnshaw and there was no reason why we still couldn't have got the result. Injuries are part and parcel of the game and it's up to the players on the pitch to deliver.

“We had six or seven very good chances that we missed, but it's not an individual's fault. It is down to the team.”

Consistency of performance is the problem most concerning Worthington at the moment and is the reason for the Canaries' patchy season.

“It's got to be ongoing,” he said. “It's no good showing it for two or three games. It's got to be over the course of a season. It's no good having a clip round the ear and then being ready to go again. They have got to want it all the time.”

The City boss was also in no doubt that he was still focusing on the remaining six matches of the season despite being faced with a potentially massive rebuilding job in the summer - a fact not missed by City midfielder Andy Hughes, who admitted this week that the team are playing for pride and their futures.

“The players have always got to be playing for pride and thereafter it's about performing and looking to get the right result,” said Worthington. “We are still focusing on this season. We have to keep up the fight and want to win regardless.

“The players have got to show the ambition and the drive, they have got to want to win the game and want to be in the play-offs and want promotion.

“The players know that they have always got to impress myself, the staff, the board and the fans,” added Worthington, who must consider whether to sign the likes of loan striker Johansson permanently or not. “It's a process that's always ongoing and not something they switch on and off.”

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