Worthy keeps eye on loan market

PUBLISHED: 12:49 12 September 2006 | UPDATED: 09:38 14 September 2010

City boss Nigel Worthington goes into tonight's Coca-Cola Championship match at Southend United (7.45pm) with one eye on the loan market.

With Darren Huckerby ruled out for three to four weeks by a torn groin muscle and a combination of injury worries and illness exposing the limited cover in his senior squad, Worthington again stressed his desire to bring in at least two new faces.

City boss Nigel Worthington goes into tonight's Coca-Cola Championship match at Southend United (7.45pm) with one eye on the loan market.

With Darren Huckerby ruled out for three to four weeks by a torn groin muscle and a combination of injury worries and illness exposing the limited cover in his senior squad, Worthington again stressed his desire to bring in at least two new faces.

He said Huckerby's injury had not caused him to rethink the type of player he was looking for.

“No, we've been looking in those areas anyway for back-up, like the left-back situation,” he said.

“Hucks's injury takes off the squad numbers for the next month so if we can - and it's a big if - bring another player in, or another two players in, we'll do it.

“We've been knocked back two or three times with different clubs.

“We'll be looking at it, but we'll be showing faith in the players that we've got within the club.”

Worthington admitted that he had inquired about 19-year-old midfielder Tom Huddlestone, Tottenham's England Under-21 international.

“Huddlestone is again a player I much admire. If there's a loan situation, it's certainly something that I would explore. I'll keep ringing.”

But he said it would be hard to persuade Premiership clubs to part with players, especially teams involved in European competition.

“I think it's going to be very difficult. There are a lot of them in Europe, Champions League and so on. And with others that are not in Europe, and haven't got such big squads, everything's been tightened right up.

“It's a case of keep calling, keep on top of it and see what they say.”

Of more immediate concern will be who replaces Huckerby at Roots Hall tonight, and whether midfielder Dickson Etuhu can shake off a chest complaint that has afflicted others at Colney.

“There's a bit of a chesty thing and it's going round many people. Some of the staff and half a dozen players have caught it. We've got to deal with it the best we can and try and fight through it and hopefully it'll clear away as soon as possible,” said Worthington.

He said club captain Craig Fleming and Andrew Fisk were still battling the bug, while Lee Croft and Matthew Halliday had suffered last week but recovered.

But he said: “I'll be looking to push people through. It's a big game for us, a good game for us and we'll be looking to bounce back after Saturday.”

Paul McVeigh, Ian Henderson and Ryan Jarvis will all be in contention for an attacking role in Huckerby's absence. Defender Jason Shackell and midfielder Carl Robinson will play despite being sore from facial injuries sustained at Coventry, while 17-year-old Michael Spillane is included in the travelling party.

“It will be a tough game,” said Worthington. “Southend have proved that already with some very good results.”

Southend boss Steve Tilson is expected to keep faith with the starting line-up from Saturday's 0-0 draw at home to Sheffield Wednesday.

Michael Ricketts is out with an Achilles problem and Efe Sodje, who played for the reserves last week after recovering from a broken leg, is not ready to return to first-team action. Striker Lee Bradbury has a hip problem.

Former Norwich defender Spencer Prior has been out with an ankle injury and may be recalled to the squad, while deadline day signing Matt Harrold came off the bench against Wednesday and will be pushing for a start.

Striker Freddy Eastwood, who scored 23 times last season, is the obvious threat to the Canaries, who are among his many admirers.

“He's a player that we inquired about, a player that we liked. But he wasn't for sale, we respected that and that was the situation,” said Worthington.

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