Don't hold your breath - Worthy

DAVID CUFFLEY Nigel Worthington today admitted he was “not getting too excited” about his chance of adding new faces to his senior squad before Thursday's transfer deadline.


City boss Nigel Worthington today admitted he was “not getting too excited” about his chance of adding new faces to his senior squad before Thursday's transfer deadline.

With less than 72 hours to go before the transfer window shuts, the Canaries have added just winger Lee Croft to their first-team pool since the end of last season.

While his side has made an impressive start to the Coca-Cola Championship campaign, Worthington has still been looking to strengthen his attacking armoury and find cover for skipper Adam Drury at left-back, as well as extra goalkeeping cover following Robert Green's move to West Ham.

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But he said today: “There is nothing to get excited about at this moment in time. We will keep looking, but people are not moving about too much with the prices that are being bandied about.”

He said there was no progress to report on a new goalkeeper or possible loan signings and put the likelihood of new faces arriving by Thursday at no greater than “50-50”.

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Meanwhile, Worthington will be keeping fingers, toes and everything else crossed as four of his key players disappear for international duty this week.

The spine of the side that demolished Barnsley 5-1 and has helped City to second place in the Championship table will be broken, as Gary Doherty, Carl Robinson and Robert Earnshaw go off to play in Euro 2008 qualifying matches, while Youssef Safri makes the trip to Morocco for an African Nations Cup qualifier.

Centre-back Doherty has earned a recall to Steve Staunton's Republic of Ireland squad which faces a tough trip to Stuttgart in Germany to take on the World Cup semi-finalists in Group Four of the European Championship qualifiers.

Meanwhile, striker Earnshaw, who scored in his seventh home game in a row on Saturday, and midfielder Robinson, who struck his first for the club, are both picked for Wales.

They also have a difficult clash lined up away to the Czech Republic in their opening qualifying match, also in Group Four.

Midfielder Safri took part in training yesterday in Rabat as the Atlas Lions prepare to take on Malawi in their first qualifying games as they bid to make the 2008 African Cup of Nations.

But with City not wanting an international break at all following their Carrow Road romp on Saturday, Worthington may be sitting uncomfortably on the edge of his sofa as his charges take the field.

However, the Northern Irishman, who played 66 times for his country and always wants his players to represent their countries when they can, admits there will be nothing he can do but sit and watch when the games kick off on Saturday.

“That's the situation and you have to deal with it,” Worthington said. “We have got players away and the main thing is that they get back here in good shape and stay fit.”

The manager may be rueing the fortnight's break before their next game at Coventry on September 9, but those players not playing international matches will be rewarded for the club's good start with a few days' rest during the next fortnight.

“The others will be working as normal with maybe a little down time, as they haven't had a period of time off since we started back for pre-season,” the manager said.

“We will look after them and make sure everybody is right for the Coventry game.”

Saturday's man of the match, Darren Huckerby, echoed his manager's hopes for an injury-free international period for City's stars.

“Last season people expected big things from us and we didn't deliver, for all sorts of different reasons,” he said. “But a lot of players got injured at the wrong time last season.

“We've got two weeks now and hopefully, touch wood, the international lads can come back fully fit.”

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