Clingan out for a month

David Cuffley Norwich City midfielder Sammy Clingan is likely to be out of action for at least a month after suffering joint damage to his right shoulder during Northern Ireland's 0-0 draw with the Czech Republic in Belfast on Wednesday.

David Cuffley

Norwich City midfielder Sammy Clingan is likely to be out of action for at least a month because of the shoulder injury he suffered on Northern Ireland duty.

Manager Glenn Roeder said Clingan had suffered ligament damage in his right shoulder during the game against the Czech Republic in Belfast on Wednesday night.

He misses tomorrow's Championship trip to Plymouth Argyle (3pm) and could be ruled out of at least half a dozen matches.

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“We can't put a definite time on how long he's going to be out, but I would say in excess of a month,” said Roeder.

“It's a nasty shoulder injury he's picked up. He's injured the joint.

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“There's no bone damage, it's all ligament, joint damage. Our assessment is that if he was to play within a month, we'd be lucky.

“It's understandable that club managers get pretty upset and annoyed about their players picking up injuries on international duty.

Sammy Clingan's been away with Northern Ireland twice since he's been here and twice he's come back injured.”

Roeder, who worked as a coach with England when Glenn Hoddle was national team boss, said he understood the position of both club and international managers.

But he said: “There's no doubt about it in my mind - and I'm well qualified to talk about it having been on both sides of the fence - that although it's an honour to play for your country, playing for your club is much more important.

“It's the club who pay your wages, that's how you earn your living. Your national team doesn't pay your wages.

“It's a case now where I feel like trying to stop them going but it's the same as Canute trying to stop the tide coming in, you can't do anything about it. They've got to go.”

Roeder said Clingan had made an outstanding start to his City career.

He said: “I thought he took a little bit of time to settle in pre-season but from kick-off at the start of the season at Coventry, I think he's been our most consistent player, and influential in midfield.

“He's in full flow now and the carpet's been pulled away from underneath his feet. He now won't play for at least a month or six weeks and that is not helping Norwich City.”

Asked whether Darel Russell would revert to central midfield after his spell as a stand-in striker, Roeder said: “Not necessarily. Ironically, we had an eleven against eleven at the training round this week and we tried someone else in there and it worked very well.”

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