No forgotten men in City striker ranks

David Cuffley City boss Glenn Roeder rejected the idea that he had lost patience with any of his strikers when he said: “There isn't one of them who is out of my thoughts.

David Cuffley

City boss Glenn Roeder rejected the idea that he had lost patience with any of his strikers when he said: “There isn't one of them who is out of my thoughts.”

Top scorer Arturo Lupoli has not started a match since the home defeat by Queens Park Rangers five weeks ago, while last season's top marksman, Jamie Cureton, was left out of the 16 completely at Bristol City on Saturday - and has not been in the starting eleven since the 2-2 draw at Cardiff in August.

Omar Koroma also missed the trip to Ashton Gate after starting the previous two games, the 18-year-old's absence explained as tiredness after a stint on international duty with Gambia.

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Roeder insisted his players were all under consideration for selection, but said Italian loan signing Lupoli had not been unfortunate to get just three brief substitute appearances in the last five games.

He said: “I wouldn't say he's been unlucky. He's working hard in training. I think at times he finds the physical aspect difficult. He finds it difficult to resist those big, heavy tackles that come in from central defenders.

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“That's why I keep telling him 'You're a mover, you have to stay on the move'. You can't receive the ball standing still - because physically he is not particularly a strong lad.

“I think he is like the other strikers at the moment. They're badly suffering from missing chances and it affects your confidence.

“You obviously don't see what I'm seeing in training. We do finishing every single day, especially at the moment. We couldn't practise any harder, we couldn't create any more match situations in training from where chances originate and where chances happen.

“But you have to put the ball in the back of the net when there's 25,000 people watching you, not one man and his dog.

“If you're a striker you're expected to score, that is your duty. Your first port of call as a striker is to score goals, it is not to defend.

“And at the moment they are not scoring goals, but it is not as if we are not making chances.

“If you look at the first half on Saturday, before Bristol City had any chances at all we had three or four that normally speaking should be certs. And we didn't score one of them.

“They have to be big enough to take the constructive criticism that they're not finishing the chances and be strong men, have broad shoulders and go back into that area where you might miss the next chance and not become afraid.”

On-loan Koroma had been rested after his overseas duties, said the City boss.

“OJ came back OK, but it's a long journey back from Africa, a lot of flying backwards and forwards and he's just a young player. But that doesn't mean to say he won't be involved tonight now he's fully rested up,” said Roeder.

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