City face crisis in defence

DAVID CUFFLEY The Canaries could be facing a crisis in central defence ahead of Saturday's tough trip to Southampton


The Canaries could be facing a crisis in central defence ahead of Saturday's tough trip to Southampton

A likely one-match ban for Jason Shackell has added to manager Peter Grant's selection woes - and club captain Craig Fleming returned to the casualty list before the 2-1 home defeat by Sheffield Wednesday.

With Gary Doherty, pictured, only due to start training again today after three weeks out, it remains to be seen who will be in the best shape to partner veteran Dion Dublin at the back at St Mary's Stadium.

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Shackell's fifth yellow card of the season came in the closing stages of Saturday's match - though City were still waiting today for confirmation of his suspension - while defender Fleming, who hit the comeback trail in the reserves at Colchester last week, reported a recurrence of his hamstring problem at the weekend.

Striker Robert Earnshaw missed the game against the Owls after failing a fitness test on a knee injury sustained in training, while reserve goalkeeper Joe Lewis also reported a thigh strain on Friday, though he was fit enough to take his place on the bench.

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Doherty and goalkeeper Paul Gallacher, both recovering from ankle injuries, were each said to be close to resuming training - Doherty possibly today and Gallacher tomorrow. Doherty's ankle is now less of a problem than his stiff back.

Winger Lee Croft, out for six weeks with ankle ligament damage, had been expected to play 45 minutes in this afternoon's Combinaton game away to MK Dons, but the match was postponed because of a waterlogged pitch.

Said Grant: “Hopefully Gallacher will start training Tuesday. He seems fit enough in himself.”

“Craig Fleming trained all week, he's played in the reserves and now he's come in with a tight hamstring.”

Meanwhile, goalkeeper Lee Camp's three-month loan from Derby has ended, but he could be back in January. “Lee's desperate to come back,” said Grant.

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