Shackell ready to return to the fray

PUBLISHED: 10:32 21 September 2007 | UPDATED: 10:34 14 September 2010

DAVID CUFFLEY

City skipper Jason Shackell is ready to lead his side into the Wolves' lair tomorrow - but admits the suspended Dion Dublin will be a “massive loss”. The 23-year-old defender made a brief return to action as a late substitute in the Canaries' 2-0 Coca-Cola Championship defeat at Charlton on Tuesday night, three weeks after suffering ankle ligament damage in the Carling Cup tie at Rochdale.

City skipper Jason Shackell is ready to lead his side into the Wolves' lair tomorrow - but admits the suspended Dion Dublin will be a “massive loss”.

The 23-year-old defender made a brief return to action as a late substitute in the Canaries' 2-0 Coca-Cola Championship defeat at Charlton on Tuesday night, three weeks after suffering ankle ligament damage in the Carling Cup tie at Rochdale.

With City's appeal against Dublin's red card at The Valley dismissed by the FA yesterday, Shackell is certain to return alongside Gary Doherty at the heart of the defence at Molineux (3pm).

And manager Peter Grant will have good cause to be grateful for his captain's comparatively swift recovery.

“I feel good. The ankle's holding up really well,” said Shackell. “You try to play it by ear with injuries. The physio told me a rough expected time of between three and five weeks, so to get back in the timeframe I did I'm very pleased. It's coming along nicely. It's not causing me any problems at the moment. Touch wood, it continues. I definitely have come back fairly quickly.

“It was nice to be back involved in a very short period on Tuesday.”

Shackell said of Dublin's absence: “He's a massive loss. On the pitch, he's been playing magnificently. In the last couple of games, some of the blocks he's made have been different class, to be honest. He has massive experience, he helps out all the lads and he's a good person to have playing in the squad and just around the place in general.”

He believes the red card was very harsh.

“Without being too controversial, I thought it was a poor decision. We've watched the replays over and over again ourselves in the changing room and we think it's a bit of a joke, to be honest. I don't think he did anything wrong. He's not that kind of guy, anyway.”

The Canaries have won just once at Molineux, in 1995, but were seconds away from a 2-1 success last season before Jody Craddock's injury-time equaliser. Wolves also won 1-0 at Carrow Road but even manager Mick McCarthy admitted it was robbery.

“We definitely owe them one. We were disappointed we didn't win at home and very disappointed we didn't win away,” said Shackell. “We felt we deserved a lot more from both games, so we owe them a result.

“It's a tough place. Their fans are quite intense. They've got a good atmosphere when they're doing well. They've bought a few players, so it's not going to be an easy game but at the same time we've got a good squad so there's no reason why we can't go there and get a win.”

Shackell admitted he was not a great spectator.

He said: “I hate it. I wanted to get back straightaway. I wanted to play on the Saturday after I got injured and that was about three days later.

“It's never nice for any player. We've got Mark Fotheringham in there and I know he hates it as well. You don't want to be in the physio's room. You want to be out with the boys on the training pitch day in, day out, training and having the banter.

“And you want to be involved in games. It's not nice to watch them, you want to do something about it yourself.”

Luke Chadwick is a doubtful starter tomorrow. The wide midfielder is struggling with a tight hamstring after being substituted at half-time at Charlton.

Grant admitted he also had doubts about two more first team men, but declined to name them.

“Chadwick came off injured in the first half. I'd say he's struggling. He came off, he felt his hamstring tight and Neal Reynolds worked on him at half-time. We maybe could have played him five minutes and then had him out for six or seven weeks with a hamstring problem,” said Grant.

“There are a couple of others I'd rather not mention that are struggling for the weekend. I don't want to give the other team an upper hand.”

Defender Ian Murray is another doubt because of a recurring illness, which ruled him out of contention at Charlton.

Striker David Strihavka, who scored the winner against Crystal Palace last Saturday but was back on the bench at Charlton after revealing a late concern over a thigh strain, is expected to be fully fit.

“I was disappointed in one respect because I know his keenness to play, but he's got to let us know when there is a doubt,” said Grant.

“I'm hoping David will be 100 per cent and will be available for the weekend.”

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