Ryan's a revelation - Roeder

PUBLISHED: 10:16 08 February 2008 | UPDATED: 15:24 10 September 2010

David Cuffley

City boss Glenn Roeder has tipped on-loan teenager Ryan Bertrand for great things - after just half a dozen games for the club.

The Chelsea defender looks set for his seventh appearance in Canary colours in tomorrow's Coca-Cola Championship match against Cardiff City at Ninian Park (noon).

City boss Glenn Roeder has tipped on-loan teenager Ryan Bertrand for great things - after just half a dozen games for the club.

The Chelsea defender looks set for his seventh appearance in Canary colours in tomorrow's Coca-Cola Championship match against Cardiff City at Ninian Park (noon).

And Roeder reckons the 18-year-old full-back, with four league games and two FA Cup outings under his belt since arriving from Stamford Bridge last month, is destined for a very bright future.

Up to now Bertrand has mostly operated on the left side of midfield for City.

“I think Ryan Bertrand has been absolutely outstanding, playing in a position he hardly knows,” said Roeder.

“I am sure he's going to be an outstanding left-back. He has a brilliant attitude and always has a lovely smile on his face.

“Nothing is too much trouble for him and it's easy to see why Chelsea took him off Gillingham.”

Roeder has the option of moving Bertrand to left-back tomorrow if he wants to retain him and introduce another of his loan signings to the side, but he warned: “Mo Camara has done extremely well since he came here.”

There may be changes despite the fact that City stretched their unbeaten run to 11 league matches with a 1-0 win at home to Preston last Saturday.

Full-back Jon Otsemobor has been battling against an Achilles problem and was replaced by on-loan Matthew Bates for most of the second half against Preston. Otsemobor has also been absent from Colney for part of this week.

“Unfortunately, Jon has missed a few days' training because of a bereavement in his family but he will be available tomorrow and he will join up with us in Cardiff,” said Roeder, who said last week that he wanted to get all his new recruits - Bates, James Henry, Alex Pearce and Kieran Gibbs - into first team action as soon as possible.

“I would have no problem changing a winning team,” he said. “The four boys on loan have created competition for places and they haven't come here to sit in the stand.

“Pearce has done very well in training, but I haven't seen as much of the others this week because they have been on international duty.”

Bertrand, Gibbs and Henry played for England Under-19s in Tuesday's 2-0 win over Croatia at Swindon.

Gibbs, 18, may be a surprise candidate as a back-up striker for Dion Dublin and Ched Evans now that Jamie Cureton is sidelined after an appendix operation, while Henry, also 18, will keep the pressure on winger Lee Croft.

“One player who has not played there often but I'm told can play through the middle is Kieran Gibbs, who has played as a striker at Arsenal and can use his pace,” said Roeder.

“Paul Stephenson thought Henry was one of England's best players on Tuesday, so Crofty will have to keep his head down to keep hold of that shirt he loves so much.”

Evans and defender Michael Spillane are also returning from international duty ahead of tomorrow's game, while goalkeeper David Marshall had a stint training with Scotland earlier in the week.

Cureton's absence could open the door for a recall for 19-year-old Chris Martin or Darren Huckerby in attack, but Roeder was planning to leave the decision on his travelling party until this morning.

Cureton's operation was a blow, but he said: “We have to cope. Last year at Newcastle I had to get by with 13 operations over the season.

“You have to stay calm and not get too uptight about things that are out of your control. There is nothing you can do about it, but sit on your hands and do your best.

“Dion is playing more games than we expected and doing even better than we expected. He's playing like a Trojan.

“And we have other people who should see it as an opportunity if they only realise it. One in particular is Chris Martin.

“Chris would be the first to admit against Bury the last time he played he didn't play particularly well.

“We are on to him in training every day to increase his work rate for the team. He has to realise that it is not all about standing up through the middle. You have to work hard for the team when you're not in possession, and he finds that quite difficult.

“But we'll keep working on him and hopefully the penny will drop.”

Martin has scored five goals for the reserves in the space of a week, while 31-year-old Huckerby is another option for a central striking role.

“There is Darren Huckerby as well. There wasn't a place on the bench for him on Saturday and everyone has to fight for his place. But I will assess it before we travel,” said Roeder.

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