City midfielder an injury doubt

David Cuffley Emergency striker Darel Russell and defender Gary Doherty were in the wars last night as Norwich City battled their way to a point at Doncaster.Russell had to be helped off the field in some distress in first-half stoppage time after appearing to get an elbow to the face, and he made way for striker Carl Cort.

David Cuffley

Emergency striker Darel Russell and defender Gary Doherty were in the wars last night as Norwich City battled their way to a point at Doncaster.

Russell had to be helped off the field in some distress in first-half stoppage time after appearing to get an elbow to the face, and he made way for striker Carl Cort.

Doherty was off the pitch for five minutes early in the game to have stitches in a cut above his right eye. A doctor was called on to the pitch to assess both injuries.


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Russell was taken to hospital for a check-up but returned to the ground, the right side of his face swollen, in time to board the team bus for the trip back to Norfolk.

City go to leaders Wolves on Tuesday with skipper Mark Fotheringham serving a one-match ban, and now doubts over whether Russell will be available.

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“Darel Russell coming off at half-time was a blow,” said manager Bryan Gunn. “It was a heavy blow to the side of the face. And we asked the lads to go out and put in a performance for him - and they certainly did.

“We hope Darel can overcome the injury he got tonight fairly quickly. I had a fractured cheekbone myself once and I played the next week.

"I don't think it's fractured. The news we got back from the hospital is it wasn't fractured. With masks and things like that, anything is possible. We will assess it over the weekend - obviously we have a big game coming up on Tuesday night at Wolves, whether that's going to be too soon for him with it being a head knock I don't know.

“I'd be disappointed if it is, but at the same time we have got an opportunity to use the squad like we did in the second half, with big Carl Cort coming on. It was a good opportunity for him and I was very pleased for him.”

Doherty was soon back in the action after a clash of heads in the 12th minute.

“Doherty had a couple of stitches,” said Gunn. “That's leadership again, coming back out with stitches. I wouldn't expect anything else from Doc. They go out there and put their heads in where it hurts.”

Gunn said Doherty's approach summed up the team spirit that would be needed to steer City clear of relegation trouble.

“The squad we've got is a good squad. They're passionate players, they've shown that in the dressing room after the game, enjoying the result,” he said.

“This is not the position we want to be in, so let's get ourselves out of it. We've got some leaders in the dressing room, which is good. I had my say but some of the lads wanted to add to that. From a manager's point of view, you want to see the leaders stand up and have their say. It's a team game and we're going to do it together.”

City's players were having a day off today but are back in training tomorrow, then train again and travel on Monday.

Gunn admitted he was close to putting new loan signing David Carney, from Sheffield United, in his squad last night.

He said: “I was tempted. David came down and joined us yesterday for training and then travelled with the team. I just thought it might be a little bit fairer on him to have a couple of days training with us.

“David will come into the squad. He's given us another option we will utilise in the games to come.”

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