Dublin could return to starting line-up

CHRIS LAKEY Dion Dublin could find himself in the starting line-up against Colchester tonight as Peter Grant tries to work around a growing injury list.


Dion Dublin could find himself in the starting line-up against Colchester tonight as Peter Grant tries to work around a growing injury list.

The 37-year-old striker ploughed a lonely furrow for 90 minutes at Stoke on Saturday - not the way Grant had planned it.

But the City manager is ready to try again, with the personnel if not the system, and says Dublin is ready for the battle.

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"On Saturday, in my ideal mind, Dion was originally going to do a shift and Peter Thorne was going to come on," explained Grant. "That was the ideal scenario - that we were going to be winning and we'd be able to change them around because Dion had run himself out with his effort.

"He did tremendously well to last and him having to play 90 minutes was something I didn't want to happen, but there were no other options. That is why I had to keep a similar system that the players had been comfortable with, but it is definitely something I will be looking at.

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"I like to play players in their proper areas - I am not one to come in and change too much, but it is getting to that stage where I roughly know most of the players and where they are more comfortable and I can see things that I want to change. And I will change - but I have to have a full complement of players for that so I can play that way."

Grant says he is convinced Dublin is fit enough for another outing just three days after his exertions at Stoke.

"Yes - because of the way he has looked after himself," said Grant. "We know he could last 90 minutes, but the way the game ended up, he ended up doing treble the work in the first period because we never pushed up the field."

In an ideal world, Grant would have liked to be out on the Colney training fields this week, putting the wrongs right after City's biggest defeat since the 6-0 thumping at Fulham on the last day of the Premiership season, in May 2004.

"Probably the one downside of having games this quick in succession is you don't have the opportunity to work constantly with them on the training pitch and implement it," he said. "So you get games to see them which is always important and which is great - but I'd like more time on the training ground.

"We have extra time and midweek games and I am resting the legs because I want to play high tempo in the opposition's half and I have to rest their legs as much as I can, especially after last Tuesday's exertions."

Grant is hoping the weekend rest period will have given players time to reflect on what happened at Stoke - and go again.

"As I said to the boys, I am sure they will have a poor Saturday night and a poor Sunday as I will," he said. "But Monday morning the dust will settle down, we will learn from it, look at what happened at the weekend and be ready to go again. I'm just disappointed because I hate getting beaten and the manner we ended up getting beaten was not very nice and it doesn't sit well with me."

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