Fozzy to lead from front
David Cuffley Skipper Mark Fotheringham looks certain to lead Norwich City into arguably their toughest home game of the season tomorrow -and his manager will be delighted to have him back.
Skipper Mark Fotheringham looks certain to lead Norwich City into arguably their toughest home game of the season tomorrow -and his manager will be delighted to have him back.
Midfielder Fotheringham missed the 2-1 East Anglian derby defeat at Ipswich last Sunday with a neck injury sustained in training.
But the 24-year-old Scot, who had to watch from behind the dug-out at Portman Road, is set to return for the sell-out Coca-Cola Championship match against leaders West Bromwich Albion at Carrow Road (3pm).
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And, with his team still looking for the victory that will secure their Championship future, boss Glenn Roeder gave a ringing endorsement of the leadership qualities he spotted in Fotheringham when he named him captain in December.
“Fozzy enjoys being leader. He is one of those players who brings the best out of the rest,” said Roeder.
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“I could see that in the way he was in training, the way he interacted with the other players.”
The City boss believes single-mindedness is one of the captain's biggest qualities.
“Mark Fotheringham is very much his own man - as I was as a player,” he said.
“He was almost ill, having to watch the game last week. It was so frustrating for him to get a silly injury the day before the game.”
Fotheringham's return will force Roeder into a midfield reshuffle, leaving him to pick two from three strikers after Jamie Cureton's fruitless excursion as a wide midfielder.
Darren Huckerby looks favourite for the one wide role tomorrow.
“Darren's held his position very well in the last month or so and has done particularly well,” said Roeder. “On Sunday we starved him of the ball and that was not part of the gameplan.”
Winger Luke Chadwick and defender Juan Velasco are pressing for a senior recall after taking part in a reserve team friendly against Cambridge United during the week, but tomorrow may be too soon.
“They came through it fine but whether they're match fit enough to be involved on Saturday, I will have to decide,” said Roeder.
“Luke has made an excellent recovery and is very bright in himself. Juan's problem is that he has had hardly any match practice.”
Chadwick said yesterday: “It was good to get the game in. Everything felt fine, there were no side effects, but I didn't really think there would be.
“The surgeon who performed the operation said I needed three months between surgery and playing again and that time has passed.”
Chadwick, 27, says he's ready for the fray, but admits that his opinion might not be shared by City's management team, who have been without him since November.
“I have been doing a lot of strengthening work and a lot of running and I feel fine,” he said. “But whether the physios and the coaching staff feel the same way I don't know. All I know is I'm ready if they want me.”