Lupoli set for return to bench

Chris Lakey Arturo Lupoli made a scoring return to City's line-up at the weekend - but could soon find himself back on the bench.The Italian only featured because Antoine Sibierski was injured, having been relegated to the sidelines and beyond since the Frenchman's arrival.

Chris Lakey

Arturo Lupoli made a scoring return to City's line-up at the weekend - but could soon find himself back on the bench.

The Italian only featured because Antoine Sibierski was injured, having been relegated to the sidelines and beyond since the Frenchman's arrival.

There's a chance he will start against Nottingham Forest next weekend, with manager Glenn Roeder not certain whether Sibierski will make it.


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"I am hopeful, very hopeful. I can't say it's a certainty. I can say it's a certainty the following week," he said.

And that suggests Lupoli will have to work overtime at Colney this week to prove to his manager he is worth more than just an understudy's role - and that he can work alongside Leroy Lita.

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"I try to do my best and we will see next week," said Lupoli, who scored the game's opening goal on 28 minutes.

"Hopefully I will be in the team. I just need to train well during the week and on Friday the manager will do the team and we will see what happens.

"I am scoring, but I have to play well as well.

" Today I think I did a good job for the team trying to do what the manager said about defending well for the team and starting defending from the two strikers.

"Me and Leroy, I think we did this very well first half, maybe a little bit worse second half, but overall I think it was a good performance - I'm just disappointed with the result."

So can play alongside Lita?

"We are both quick, we both like to score goals and when you have those kind of qualities you can always play together," he said. "We have a lot of strikers and Sibierski is a good player as well. We just need to be ready and any time you get to play you just need to perform and keep your place in the team."

Lupoli had bagged three goals in give starts before Lita arrived, and spent the previous nine games either on the bench or in the stands as Roeder searched for a front pairing to bear fruit.

"It has been a very, very tough month for me, October," said the 21-year-old, on a season-long loan from Fiorentina

"I played only two games, 10, 20 minutes and you always go on the training ground and do your best to impress the manager to put you in the team and when you don't play everything is hard on the field and outside as well because your mind is always thinking, 'why you don't play, why this and why is that?'.

"I just need to keep going, keep strong, because in football you can be five or six games out and then be ready for scoring a goal and helping your team winning games.

"Today it didn't happen so we are looking forward to the Nottingham Forest game.

"It was very frustrating today.

"We played very good in the first half, one of the best of the season I think, and then we should have kept it 1-0 going into half-time.

"We conceded a very bad goal and we came out in the second half and the first five minutes they scored two goals, one from set-play and one from a not very good play by us defending.

"I think we were a bit unlucky to concede two goals in the space of five minutes that really killed us in the second half."

Lupoli shares the fans' concern about City's position.

"We started the season aiming for the top six and we are in the bottom six now," he said.

"In football things can change in three or four games, but at the moment things are going very bad for us.

"We always say in the quality of player we have got we should be in the top half of the table, but if we don't show that on the pitch it is not important to say that.

"So I just think we need to get back on the training ground tomorrow and get ready for the Saturday game because we need to start picking up our season and winning a few games in a row because this position is really, really bad for us and for the club."

If Lupoli was disappointed at scoring in defeat, then team-mate Matty Pattison was simply despondent, having extended his barren run to 41 appearances exactly a year to the weekend after signing, initially, on loan from Newcastle.

"It's just not happening for us at the moment," the South African midfielder said.

"If my shot had gone instead of hitting the post it would have been a whole different game. All the boys are devastated.

"We should be winning these games at home and climbing up the table but obviously that's not happening.

"The fans have every right to be unhappy because we're not giving them what they want."

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