Worthy will not run for cover

PUBLISHED: 12:43 28 September 2006 | UPDATED: 09:40 14 September 2010

DAVID CUFFLEY

City boss Nigel Worthington today insisted he would not let the prospect of protests distract him or his players from the job in hand when they face Burnley in Sunday's televised Coca-Cola Championship match at Carrow Road.

City boss Nigel Worthington today insisted he would not let the prospect of protests distract him or his players from the job in hand when they face Burnley in Sunday's televised Coca-Cola Championship match at Carrow Road.

Worthington flatly declined to comment on the statement issued earlier in the week by majority shareholders Delia Smith and Michael Wynn Jones calling for an immediate improvement in the team's performances, but he said he was ready to face what he knows could be an hostile atmosphere at the lunchtime match.

He said: “I can't do anything about protests. I'll deal with it and I'll protect the players as much as I can.

“All I'll be saying to the players is go and play for themselves, go out and perform and enjoy the game. The result will take care of itself.

“I will be fine and I will deal with it because it's part and parcel of football. I'll be at the front and I won't be deflecting any of the situation onto anybody else.”

He described the flare-up in training last week between midfield pair Dickson Etuhu and Youssef Safri as “handbags.”

He said: “It's part and parcel of football. I've seen it many times and been involved in it a few times myself. When you get a small group of people in a close-knit scenario for nine to 10 months in a season, these spats are going to happen. It finished up as handbags, to be fair. It didn't take anything away from anything we were trying to do. They've had a clout at each other now let's get on with it.

“The way we train is very competitive and I'm looking on Sunday for that competitiveness that we showed in training and in matches in the first month of the season.”

Worthington has not given up hope that winger Darren Huckerby may be fit to return against Burnley.

He said: “It's very much touch and go. He's got to be fit, 100 per cent medically fit and happy that he is fit in his own mind. Darren is a very fit lad.”

The only other fresh injury concern for Worthington is midfielder Andy Hughes, who picked up a groin strain in training.

Winger Lee Croft, who played at Plymouth in last week's 3-1 defeat but had not trained before the game, has been back in training this week.

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