Thorne set for City recall

PUBLISHED: 14:51 09 February 2006 | UPDATED: 09:12 14 September 2010

Under-fire manager Nigel Worthington today dropped broad hints of his battle plan for Saturday's trip to Hull City as the Canaries desperately look to turn their fortunes around after a winless start to 2006.

Under-fire manager Nigel Worthington today dropped broad hints of his battle plan for Saturday's trip to Hull City as the Canaries desperately look to turn their fortunes around after a winless start to 2006.

Sunday's 2-1 home defeat by derby rivals Ipswich Town found the one-time promotion favourites hitting rock bottom as far as the fans' patience was concerned - hence Worthington's urgent need to find a team that plays to everyone's strengths.

All of which ensures that Peter Thorne is coming into the manager's thinking after recovering from the untimely bout of illness that ruled him out of the Ipswich clash.

“He would have been involved,” said Worthington, asked whether the City target man was originally designed to partner his former Cardiff City team-mate Rob Earnshaw in attack.

“They played at Cardiff together and they enjoyed playing together which is a plus,” said Worthington, in Thorne's absence forced to partner his £2.75 million star signing with Jonatan Johansson. The result was plain for all to see.

“Earnshaw and Johansson are two strikers who like to play off a big man. It's an awkward one playing those two together. Thorne can hold the ball up, which is something that we clearly didn't do too well on Sunday.”

The fact that Johansson has the ability to play in wider roles to either the left of the right of a front two clearly gives Worthington a way forward - albeit one that could yet see the Canaries to 4-4-2.

The City chief also revealed that he had had “a long chat” with Youssef Safri after his return from the African Cup of Nations tournament failed to ignite Norwich's results revival in the way everyone hoped - particularly against the old enemy.

“I've spoken to Safri and the fact that the training he's had out there with Morocco has clearly been very average and very low key has not helped his situation with regard to him losing fitness and that was plain to see on Sunday.

“He's back in England now and he's got to get out there, get up to his opponent and outmuscle him. It's a case of getting him up again to the levels that we want and that might take two to three weeks.”

Otherwise Worthington named - by Norwich's standards - a relatively short injury list ahead of this weekend's first-ever trip to the KC Stadium with just Matthieu Louis-Jean and back injury victim Darren Ward certain non-starters.

Club skipper Craig Fleming is the only doubt after injuring a hip in the midst of derby battle.

Leon McKenzie is expected to travel to Hull even through he may not feature during the game.

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