Late decision over Hughes

RICK WAGHORN Nigel Worthington faces an anxious 48 hours, waiting on the fitness of at least three of his injured senior stars ahead of Saturday's match at Plymouth Argyle.


City boss Nigel Worthington faces an anxious 48 hours, waiting on the fitness of at least three of his injured senior stars ahead of Saturday's Coca-Cola Championship match at Plymouth Argyle.

With speculation regarding the Canary futures of both Robert Green and Dean Ashton still foremost in most people's minds, Worthington was keen to shift the focus back on the trip to Home Park - which, ironically, still ensured that the conversation turned to his two in-demand stars.

Alongside skipper Andy Hughes, Green and Ashton remain the biggest fitness doubts in the run-up to the Pilgrims clash.

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For now, Worthington was none the wiser - certainly until after Hughes had joined in his first training session with a Phantom of the Opera style face mask to protect his rebuilt cheekbone, while Green waited on today's verdict from the doctors as to whether he was fit enough to play following last Saturday's trip to the hospital after his clash with West Ham's Marlon Harewood.

“Andy may join in training today for the first time and we'll just have to see how he gets on - there's a chance of him being involved if all goes well,” said Worthington, whose cause is not helped by a one-match suspension for the in-form Paul McVeigh.

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“Robert Green will see the doctors this afternoon and a decision will be made then on whether he's fit for selection.

“He seems to be fine but in situations like these we've got to go through the right FA procedures.

“Dean Ashton will be a real last-minute one - tomorrow or even Saturday morning.”

Worthington insisted that both Green and Ashton would be selected - irrespective of all the transfer talk in which both players are engulfed. After all, until someone starts to talk “crazy money” they remain Norwich City players.

Green, in particular, would appear to be heading for the exit door first - particularly if his agent's words are to be believed.

“Robert's our player and when you're under contract you've got to go and produce - for yourself, the football club and the supporters. At the end of the day they're being paid by Norwich City and their duty is to play for the football club.”

Worthington did, however, concede that being slap bang in the middle of the transfer rumour mill was not wholly helpful - it is, after all, easy to forget that Ashton has only just turned 22 and it would take a particularly single-minded individual of any age not to let his mind wander elsewhere, given the undoubted numbers involved.

“Sooner or later all the speculation will have an effect on Dean. The most important thing for Dean, however, right now is to get himself fit and back to playing again.”

Otherwise, the long-term casualties remain in Neal Reynolds' treatment room with youngsters Rossi Jarvis and Michael Spillane both booked in for the trip to Devon.

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