Injury-hit Canaries face test of mettle
City boss Glenn Roeder faces a growing injury list as his side prepares for two away games in succession. The Canaries visit two of the Championship's bottom three - Barnsley on Saturday and Southampton a week tomorrow - with no fewer than seven senior players on the sidelines, only one of whom looks sure to recover in time for the game at Oakwell.
City boss Glenn Roeder faces a growing injury list as his side prepares for two away games in succession.
The Canaries visit two of the Championship's bottom three - Barnsley on Saturday and Southampton a week tomorrow - with no fewer than seven senior players on the sidelines, only one of whom looks sure to recover in time for the game at Oakwell.
Centre-back Dejan Stefanovic missed the 1-0 win against Sheffield United with a calf injury he suffered in the home defeat by Queens Park Rangers, but he should be fit for the trip to Yorkshire.
Said Roeder: “Dejan got a bad kick on his calf on Wednesday, got quite a big bruise. It was too sore for him to play with it but I'll be shocked if he's not fit for next week.”
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With on-loan pair Elliott Omozusi and Jonathan Grounds performing well in a new central defensive partnership, Roeder admitted: “It gives me a really, really nice problem. They're the problems that I want.”
One problem Roeder didn't want, however, was two more players joining the casualty list during the game against the Blades.
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“We have picked up a few injuries of late, which I don't like. It's pretty frustrating when Matty Pattison, who's having his best run in the team, picked up a hamstring strain and you put on Arturo Lupoli and he's picked up a little bit of a hamstring strain himself. Both players have to be touch and go for next week,” said Roeder, who already had Gary Doherty (ankle injury), John Kennedy (ankle), Sammy Clingan (shoulder) and David Bell (ankle) out of action.
He said: “This is where you need at least two players in every position to cope with this situation if it arises during the season. Going into the game next week, our strength in depth is going to be seriously tested but I think we'll be able to cope with it.”
One bright spot was the return of left-back Adam Drury, playing his first league game for 11 months and lasting 67 minutes.
“Adam Drury had waited a long time for a chance to play. He's only been taken off because he had serious cramp,” said Roeder. “If he had carried on playing, he could have ended up getting a serious strain in his hamstring because of the cramp and he did marvellously to go as long as he did when you consider how little football he's played for the best part of 10 months or so.
“It just made sense, we look physically stronger and defensively more sound with Adam Drury at left-back and Ryan Bertrand playing in front of him.”