Earnie in line for recall
Nigel Worthington was today preparing to shuffle his pack ahead of this weekend's much-anticipated Coca Cola Championship clash with Sheffield United.
Norwich City manager Nigel Worthington was today preparing to shuffle his pack ahead of this weekend's much-anticipated Coca Cola Championship clash with Sheffield United.
Worthington adopted a defensive 4-5-1 approach against Leeds last time out, which paid dividends as the Canaries came so close to a famous victory at Elland Road - only to be denied by a 90th minute equaliser.
But it is expected that the City boss will revert to a more attacking 4-4-2 formation and at the same time re-introduce £3.5m striker Robert Earnshaw to partner Leon McKenzie, who ploughed a lone furrow up front against the Tykes.
Worthington admitted he would be looking to be very positive in his tactics, he said: “It's horses for courses. Myself as the manager and the staff will do what we believe is right for the game. We are at home, we've got to go and be positive, work hard for each other and look for the win.
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“It's going to be a tough game, we've got to get at them from the start and we've got to be positive.
“There's no doubt it's going to be lively on the pitch and we're looking forward to it.
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“It's important we go and deliver what we did at Leeds, fight and scrap and have the courage to pass it.”
The 25-year-old Zambia-born Welsh International's presence in the starting line-up will mean someone from the midfield is forced to drop out with Carl Robinson and, despite having put in a creditable performance against Leeds, Simon Charlton being the two most likely candidates to be miss out.
The other selection headache that Worthington may face is if Moroccan international Youssef Safri (hip) is fit enough to start - he came on as a later second half substitute against Leeds in the 84th minute. If he is then Safri will most likely come in and replace both Robinson and Charlton who will be forced to drop to the bench or out of the squad altogether.
“Safri was fit enough to start last week,” admitted Worthington at this morning's Colney press conference. “It's just that he lacked a bit of match fitness.”
City's recent clashes with United have been fiery encounters, the catalyst for which has been the mutual dislike the two clubs' managers have for one another, and this looks like being no different.
United have developed a clear case of the promotion yips lately and have not won in their last seven outings. The Blades were cruising in the second automatic promotion spot but now the likes of Leeds and Watford have gained ground on them.
So, Saturday's clash would seem to present Norwich the ideal opportunity to heap more misery on United and ratchet up the pressure yet further by getting a result.
Worthington declared: “Sheffield are a good team with a lot of experience and Warnock has signed a lot of players this season. The problem with dodgy runs is that they usually come to an end at some point. It's our job to make sure that that doesn't happen on Saturday.”
City's battling performance against Leeds United was arguably one of their best this season and Worthington will be desperate to see a repeat performance at Carrow Road in front the home fans and complete the double over United having given them 3-1 hiding at Brammall Lane in December.
Despite supporters' groups calling a ceasefire in the battle of wills over the manager's position with the board, Worthington will be looking to further bolster his position with another high-quality performance against one of the top teams in the division to prove the club is once again moving in the right direction.
“I am fully focused on Norwich City and preparing us best as we can for the game on Saturday. It's going to be a good game, a lively game and we're looking forward to it.
“We've got to take it game by game and keep the momentum going that we have achieved in the last six matches,” added Worthington whose seen his team …..
Meanwhile speculation in this morning's national newspapers linked City keeper Robert Green to a £2 million switch to Everton in the summer but Worthington admitted it was news to him, however Green's contract was certainly something they will be addressing in the near future.