It's good to talk

DAVID CUFFLEY City manager Glenn Roeder has stepped up moves to try to keep Birmingham defender Martin Taylor at Carrow Road.And the Canaries' boss is also keen to extend Chelsea midfielder Jimmy Smith's stay with the club.

DAVID CUFFLEY

City manager Glenn Roeder has stepped up moves to try to keep Birmingham defender Martin Taylor at Carrow Road.

And the Canaries' boss is also keen to extend Chelsea midfielder Jimmy Smith's stay with the club.

Roeder today confirmed he had spoken to new St Andrew's boss Alex McLeish about Taylor, whose one-month loan at Carrow Road expires after tomorrow's Coca-Cola Championship home game against Sheffield United (3pm).


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The 28-year-old centre-half has played a big part in lifting the Canaries off the bottom of the table in his seven first team appearances, defending with distinction and scoring crucial goals in the 2-2 home draw against Ipswich on his debut and the 3-1 win at Blackpool.

“I have spoken to Alex McLeish about the possibility of keeping Martin. We would like to keep him because he's done very well,” said Roeder.

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“We are unbelievably short in that department and it needs to be addressed. We are looking at all avenues, from a longer loan, a loan with a view to a move or a permanent move.”

Taylor has not commented publicly on his plans beyond the end of the month and will want to see where he figures in McLeish's plans after the former Scotland boss took over from Steve Bruce.

“I haven't really sat down with Martin but we have touched on it,” said Roeder.

“It might be to our disadvantage having a change of manager and it depends where Alex McLeish sees Martin in his plans.”

McLeish has already confirmed he wants to extend Arsenal defender Johan Djourou's loan deal for the rest of the season.

Roeder expects to have to wait until after the weekend for a decision on Taylor, adding: “Nowadays it's not cut and dried like in the days when there were no agents and no other people involved.”

The City boss also plans to contact Chelsea about the possibility of holding on to Smith, whose loan runs out at the end of the month.

The 20-year-old midfielder, who was sidelined for three months with an ankle injury, has made just four senior appearances for Norwich, the last of them in the 3-1 home defeat by Watford more than four weeks ago.

But Roeder said he had been increasingly impressed by Smith in training.

He said: “I see Jimmy improving and we want to keep him if we can. He has improved in training over the last 10 days and that's why he's got himself on the bench in the last two games, waiting for his chance.

“I will have to talk to Frank Arnesen at Chelsea, who I know, because I'd like to retain him in the squad.”

Roeder will be forced into at least two changes to his starting line-up against the Blades with defender Gary Doherty and midfielder Darel Russell serving one-match bans.

Jason Shackell, left out in the 2-1 win over Plymouth, will return in defence, with Smith and Lee Croft among the candidates for a recall in Russell's absence.

Taylor was substituted late in the game against Plymouth, suffering from cramp, but is expected to play. Winger Luke Chadwick, troubled by a shoulder injury that will eventually require an operation, will be available for selection after being rested for the last two games.

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