Play-off boost for City as Newcastle defender is linked

PUBLISHED: 12:00 19 February 2008 | UPDATED: 15:25 10 September 2010

David Cuffley

Four of Norwich City's loan signings would be eligible for promotion play-off matches at the end of the season if needed.

Four of Norwich City's loan signings would be eligible for promotion play-off matches at the end of the season if needed.

That prospect has become more unlikely after the Canaries' last two results, but should they make a dramatic charge into the top six by the first week of May, Ryan Bertrand, Mo Camara, Ched Evans and Alex Pearce are available for as long as needed this season because they are on standard "window to window" loans.

However, the loan spells for Kieran Gibbs, James Henry and Matthew Bates - still technically Norwich's player despite returning to Middlesbrough for a knee operation - run out on April 28, which means they miss the final game of the season at Sheffield Wednesday on May 4. Their deals cannot be extended.

Bates is expected to be out for the rest of the season after suffering his third knee injury in 15 months, when he hobbled off during last Tuesday's 1-1 draw against Hull.

Roeder said last week he was not likely to seek another loan replacement for Bates, but has been linked with Newcastle defender David Edgar, also reported to be a target for Ipswich and Plymouth.

Edgar's agent, Barry McLean, confirmed that the Canadian Under-20 skipper had been a target for a few Championship clubs, including City.

He said: "Ipswich, Norwich and Plymouth have all inquired about him, but Newcastle have not been willing to let him go in January because of the fact there were players away at the African Cup of Nations.

"David's heart is with Newcastle United, but he is frustrated by a lack of first-team football, and that is a problem. He would be better off playing regularly in the first team on loan somewhere.

"He also knows numbers are low at Newcastle and that he could get a chance there soon, but there is only so much you can learn playing in the reserves week after week.

"He is not agitating for a move, he just wants to know where he stands."

Any loan move for the 6ft 2in defender would not be likely to happen until Friday when the maximum emergency loan period of 93 days would stretch to a potential play-off final.

However, Roeder already has another centre-half, 19-year-old Alex Pearce, on loan from Reading, yet to make his debut.

And Edgar may yet be needed at Newcastle this season, where reserve coach Adam Sadler has hinted that he could be given his first-team chance sooner rather than later after several solid performances for the Magpies' second string, most recently in a 1-1 draw against Manchester City.

Sadler said: "David was magnificent and continues to show the potential he's got.

"Who knows where David will end up in football? Hopefully, it will be in Newcastle United's first team, and with performances like the one he gave against Man City he will certainly have caught the manager's eye."

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