Grant 'learning to live with injuries'

DAVID CUFFLEY City boss Peter Grant was today planning a check on his casualty list before naming a squad for Carling Cup duty at Rochdale.Full-back Adam Drury missed Saturday's 2-1 Coca-Cola Championship defeat at Hull with a groin injury, handing new signing Ian Murray a debut in defence, while goalkeeper David Marshall was left hobbling by a blow on the hip - the result of a challenge early in the game from Tigers goalscorer Dean Windass.

DAVID CUFFLEY

City boss Peter Grant was today planning a check on his casualty list before naming a squad for Carling Cup duty at Rochdale.

Full-back Adam Drury missed Saturday's 2-1 Coca-Cola Championship defeat at Hull with a groin injury, handing new signing Ian Murray a debut in defence, while goalkeeper David Marshall was left hobbling by a blow on the hip - the result of a challenge early in the game from Tigers goalscorer Dean Windass.

Marshall insists he will be fine for tomorrow's second round tie at Spotland (7.45pm), but Drury's injury adds to Grant's problems with midfielders Jimmy Smith and Mark Fotheringham long-term absentees.


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Star forward Darren Huckerby has yet to make a first team appearance because of hip and groin injuries, though he could travel.

Grant said Drury had slipped in training on Thursday but completed the session, then complained of soreness on Friday morning and had to pull out of the trip to the KC Stadium.

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“I'm disappointed but that seems to be the way it is at this moment in time. In my tenure we've learned to live with it,” said Grant.

“There are a few of them with knocks. You always have problems after games with soreness and tiredness and stiffness, and some of the boys are still getting their legs.”

In particular, the manager was less than happy with the treatment meted out by Windass to his first-choice 'keeper.

“The referees don't see that. The exact same happened at Preston where David kept getting battered,” said Grant.

“The boy smashed him right on the hip. Everyone in the stadium could see it. His experience told him, smash the 'keeper on the first cross. That's what he's done.

“If that's the case that's like saying to an outfield player go and smash the winger on his first touch - guarantee he'll get booked. But a striker going into a goalkeeper? No, that's your first warning.

“Dean used his experience, but I thought the referee should have showed his experience as well and booked him.”

Asked whether Marshall could be doubtful for the tie against Rochdale, where reserve 'keeper Matthew Gilks returns to his former club, Grant said: “It's possible. If it affects his kicking it will be. I think he can get about. He wants to play all the games. He missed a big part of last season.

“They all want to be involved, they don't want to be rested. They want to get their game legs.”

Marshall had no doubts he would be fit.

“Definitely. It's no problem at all,” he said. “It was just a knee in the hip. We know what he's like, we've watched videos and Dean played up in Scotland.

“I thought we stood up to that in the first half, which you need to do, and when it went one each, we had a right good chance but bad defending cost us in the end.

“I thought we were going really well. They didn't even look a goal threat when they got their second goal. We lost a bit of concentration for the first goal and then I thought we were maybe going on to win the game, so we'll have to look at our concentration a bit more.

“We thought before the game we could come here and get the points and during the game as well, when we got back in it I thought we were playing well. It was a bad goal to lose, the second one.”

But both Grant and Marshall agreed that Murray had done well.

“I've been in a few Scotland squads with him,” said Marshall. “I was speaking to him after the game and he said it was difficult because he's not played competitively since last season. So to do the 90 minutes must have been a hard shift. I think he's done all right and he can only get better when he gets his fitness.

“As soon as he gets his match fitness up, I think he'll be a good addition.”

Grant said: “I thought he acquitted himself well.”

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