Grant is fitness frantic
CHRIS LAKEY Norwich boss Peter Grant will call on every fit player to make the trip north to Rochdale for City's Carling Cup tie. Grant is sweating on the fitness of Adam Drury, Darren Huckerby and David Marshall, but has revealed that there are others who are giving cause for concern.
Norwich boss Peter Grant will call on every fit player to make the trip north to Rochdale for City's Carling Cup tie.
Grant is sweating on the fitness of Adam Drury, Darren Huckerby and David Marshall, but has revealed that there are others who are giving cause for concern.
“One is a bug, another three are injuries,” said Grant, who has one eye on Rochdale and another on Saturday's Championship game against Cardiff - and beyond.
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“My only concern is that if I play them will I lose them in the longer term, even though I know there is a break after Cardiff.
“I just can't afford that because, yes we have a stronger group as in personnel, but I don't think we have a stronger group as in numbers.
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“There are one or two boys I know who will probably miss the game and one or two who are coming back and still finding their legs. You are desperate to win the game, the only doubt is who is going to be available and that is why I have to be 100pc sure.”
The players trained on Monday afternoon, with a decision on who travels likely to follow discussions with physio Neal Reynolds.
“I have to be 100pc sure I am not going to be dragging them off after 10, 15 minutes and losing them for a period of time,” Grant said.
“We will need to take everybody, even the ones I think are on the periphery. Probably the only question mark would still be Adam. I will speak to him, but if I thought he still had no chance it would be a waste of time taking him up for the journey.
“If I can give them 24 hours I will do that.”
Grant is clearly tempted to give Huckerby a run-out, if only because the flying winger needs to complement his general standard of fitness with match sharpness - and with reserve games few and far between, the Carling Cup second round is an opportunity he might not be able to turn down.
“If I started him he would be the only one I know for a fact is not 100pc, but where am I going to get him games?” said Grant. “It is important he has game time. I know his general fitness is very good, it's just his match fitness he has to get which he has not had.
“We will see where we are with the bodies and then that will maybe dictate if he plays any part. He will travel with us.
“I am there to win games, not to get people fit - I want to pick the strongest team we can.”
Drury is rated a 70-30 chance, while goalkeeper Marshall has a bruised hip after a challenge from Dean Windass at Hull on Saturday.
“Marsh is okay, sore with a bit of bruising, but that's what you expect,” added Grant. “We knew it was going to be a competitive game and that is the way it turned out to be. Nothing changed on that. Marsh doesn't want to miss out on many games. Because of the injury he had last year he is keen to play.”