Dublin’s Sky Blues thinking

DAVID CUFFLEY Dion Dublin has given Norwich City one glimmer of light in the November gloom by confirming he will be fit to face his old club in their next match. The Canaries are out of action until Coventry City visit Carrow Road in the Coca-Cola Championship on Saturday week.

DAVID CUFFLEY

Dion Dublin has given Norwich City one glimmer of light in the November gloom by confirming he will be fit to face his old club in their next match.

The Canaries are out of action until Coventry City visit Carrow Road in the Coca-Cola Championship on Saturday week.

And 38-year-old Dublin, who missed last week's defeats by Watford and Plymouth because of a hamstring injury, says he will be ready to return against the Sky Blues.


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Dublin, sidelined since he was substituted at half-time in the 2-2 draw with Ipswich - new boss Glenn Roeder's first game in charge - had the chance to run the rule over City's next opponents when he was at the Ricoh Arena last night to see Coventry beaten 4-0 by West Bromwich Albion.

A studio guest for Sky Sports at the televised game, he said he was on the mend.

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“The next game will be Coventry at home, so I will be ready to play,” said Dublin, well aware of the Canaries' desperate need for a win after taking just two points from their last 11 games.

“I don't think we've had a lot of luck, to be honest, which is no excuse,” he said.

“I think the way that individuals have played has not been good enough. If individuals play badly, the team can't play better and that's what has happened.

“We've just been very poor and deserve to be down there at the bottom of the league.”

Roeder may have extra cause to welcome Dublin's return with on-loan central defender Martin Taylor facing a battle to be fit. Taylor limped out of Saturday's 3-0 defeat at Plymouth in the first half because of a groin injury and the City boss admits he will be “touch and go” for the Coventry game.

Like Dublin, winger Luke Chadwick is expected to be available after also suffering hamstring trouble.

Meanwhile, Roeder is reported to be ready for another raid on his former club, Newcastle United, as he looks to bring in loan players.

He has already taken Lee Clark from St James' Park as his assistant manager, is believed to have tried to recruit coach Adam Sadler

and came close to luring striker Shola Ameobi away from Tyneside last week, only for manager Sam Allardyce to step in and block the move.

Now Roeder is said to be keen to sign Magpies midfielder Matty Pattison.

The 21-year-old South African made his first team debut for Newcastle just three weeks after Roeder took over from Graeme Souness and made a dozen appearances for him last season.

But Pattison, whose contract expires at the end of the season, doesn't appear to be part of Allardyce's plans and could welcome a move away from the North-East.

Allardyce is believed to have given Clark the “hands off” warning when he got in touch over Ameobi, who enjoyed a healthy scoring record under Roeder.

Ameobi scored around a goal every other game during Roeder's reign, but the 26-year-old has only made one Premier League start for Allardyce - a defeat at Derby County.

Middlesbrough were interested in Ameobi and are likely to return when the January transfer window opens, but that is not an option open to Roeder, who admitted last week that his target was too good for the Championship and that it would have been strictly a loan deal only.

Roeder's problem is trying to sell a team that is bottom of the table to potential signings.

He said: “We will continue working hard on the telephone, asking the question, trying to convince managers that the best thing for some of their players not playing first team football would be to come here.”

Roeder found an unlikely ally in Crystal Palace manager Neil Warnock after criticising Premier League players who are content to play reserve team football rather than move to Championship clubs on loan.

“I read that Glenn Roeder had said that it's difficult to get players in because those from the Premier League are more prepared to play in the reserves because they don't want to travel and stay in a hotel - and he's right,” said Warnock. “I've spoken to two Premier League players who the managers have said I can have, but the players haven't agreed to come - not just to us but to any team in the Championship.

“I find that incredible that they don't want to play first-team football. It is money, because it shows that these players aren't altogether bothered about playing - but then you don't want those kind of players anyhow.”

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