City hit by new injury blow
Chris Lakey Glenn Roeder's activities in the January transfer window will be stepped up this week after the loss of yet another player to injury.Striker Antoine Sibierski was taken off on a stretcher after twisting his ankle and may well have played the last game of his loan spell from Wigan, which was due to end after next Saturday's home game against Barnsley.
Glenn Roeder's activities in the January transfer window will be stepped up this week after the loss of yet another player to injury.
Striker Antoine Sibierski was taken off on a stretcher after twisting his ankle and may well have played the last game of his loan spell from Wigan, which was due to end after next Saturday's home game against Barnsley.
With Jamie Cureton out on loan at Barnsley, and Leroy Lita back in Reading's shop window, plus Carl Cort not match fit, it means Roeder is now down to one striker - Arturo Lupoli.
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Roeder admits work on bringing in new faces will be done “as soon as possible” and that some of his younger players will be occupying seats on the subs' bench in tomorrow's FA Cup replay against Charlton - with Cort an outside chance to start - when the absence of Cup-tied loan player Jonathan Grounds leaves him again struggling to fill gaps in the back four.
Sibierski's City future was probably dependant on any other business anyway, but it appears to have been rubber-stamped by his exit from Bramall Lane.
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“He's twisted his ankle and it's quite swollen,” said Roeder. “We will look after him and we'll scan it on Monday, and then I can give you later in the week a more accurate assessment of what he has done.
“It certainly isn't looking good for Tuesday or next week, and they're his last two games. I wouldn't be surprised if his stint at Norwich is now over.
“We are very, very short in the attacking part of the team and although we've been looking since the window opened on January 1, we haven't managed to find anybody. But that doesn't mean to say you give up, you keep fighting, you keep looking, but sooner now rather than later we need to find a coupe of strikers to bring into the club, as well as another central defender.
“We urgently need more players into the squad. I wouldn't think there is any squad working with such a small senior squad as we are at the moment.
“We haven't got Grounds for Tuesday night but that give someone else an opportunity. We will have a load of kids on the bench, it gives them an opportunity to sample what first team football is about, at least being involved in first team football and like the players showed today, they will keep fighting.”
The only goal of the game on Saturday came after 17 minutes, when some sloppy marking allowed Danny Webber to set up Darius Henderson with a textbook move, and although Wes Hoolahan and Lupoli both hit the woodwork, City's second-half performance just wasn't enough to snatch the point they perhaps deserved.
“The goal was disappointing,” said Roeder. “We have not shown enough urgency to close Webber down, too slow getting out there, and it was too easy for Webber to deliver a dangerous ball into the box and, unfortunately, it was the single goal that cost us the game.
“It's a disappointed dressing room down there. I thought we matched Sheffield United all the way, especially on the physical side of the game, which if you're going to get a result here - which obviously we didn't, but we did everything we could to - you have to stand up to them and I thought we did that very well. Unfortunately it never broke our way a few times when we hit the woodwork.
“Again I think in the second half last week against Charlton in the FA Cup we came back and we got the replay that we deserved for Tuesday night, and they have shown today they are up for a fight - against a team that is a good team, full of Premiership players.
“Marshy had to pull off his normal one world class save but, come on, we've come to Bramall Lane we're going to concede chances. We didn't concede too many chances and overall he had a relatively quiet afternoon.
“It's a long journey home and it's very disappointing taking part in a game like that and not get at least a point on the scoreboard. But that's life, no one is to feel sorry for themselves, no one is to blame anyone.”