Pattison in from the cold in Reserves draw
Chris Lakey Matty Pattison is still in Bryan Gunn's plans, despite being left out of the manager's last three Norwich City squads.The South African made three appearances off the bench in Gunn's opening games, but has failed to make the 16 since, falling down the pecking order at a club well served by left-sided players.
Matty Pattison is still in Bryan Gunn's plans, despite being left out of the manager's last three Norwich City squads.
The South African made three appearances off the bench in Gunn's opening games, but has failed to make the 16 since, falling down the pecking order at a club well served by left-sided players.
But Gunn insists that Pattison - who was former manager Glenn Roeder's first signing when he turned a move into a permanent deal last January - will be given a chance to stake his claim.
"He wasn't in my 16 at Wolves then he had a slight illness in the next game after that and decided not to travel," said Gunn.
"We have got a lot of cover on that left side at the moment and those players are fit. He has got an opportunity to prove to myself and the other coaches he warrants a place in the squad. There are only so many people you can fit on to a bus and fit into a hotel schedule as well.
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It is just unfortunate it has been Matty but other people have forced their way into the reckoning as well. It is down to him to prove that he is up for the battle ahead."
Pattison's first opportunity came last night when he was given a starting role in centre midfield alongside young Damon Lathrope, with Simon Lappin - another player with a point to prove - on the left and David Carney switched to the right.
Five of Gunn's signings started: Adrian Leijer, David Carney and Chris Killen, with Alan Gow and Jason Shackell given the night off after their appearances at Preston on Saturday while Cody McDonald is still on the injured list, although he could feature in a week's time when a City XI takes on Great Yarmouth Town.
"He is still with the physio," said Gunn yesterday. "He warmed up with the first team players today so he will be striking the ball over the weekend and then hopefully we can get another match arranged early next week and it might be then he features."
Getting match action for senior players was the order of the day, but the supporting cast members like skipper Korey Smith, defender David Stephens, Lathrope and Lappin - who hit the woodwork with a free-kick late on - will also feel they put forward decent cases for consideration.
It was Killen and Jamie Cureton up front last night, but it was at the other end where the action warmed up, on 17 minutes, when Barnet went ahead, Nicky Deverdics' corner headed home by Ismail Yakubu who had the sort of space in the area tnat is usually only granted by the first team.
Presumably Gunn - who had issued a three-line whip for his first team squad players to turn up and support their colleagues in a show of unity and togetherness - didn't have the result on his mind as much as individual performances and clean bills of health.
The offside flag proved City's undoing in the early stages, although Killen was falling foul of the law in his aerial battle with the Barnet centre-backs.
Lappin almost volleyed home a Carney cross on 27 minutes, but was slightly askew with his effort as City struggled to trouble the visitors' rearguard.
Stuart Nelson - getting a rare outing in the City goal - did well to prevent a second for the visitors, turning Adam Birchall's long-range shot around the post.
Cliff Akurang should have done better with a header: the quality or otherwise of his effort was forgotten as you wondered where the defence had disappeared to, although perhaps the first union of Leijer and the excellent Stephens can be offered as an excuse.
Cureton got himself a much-needed goal in the 53rd minute, Lappin contributing after catching a corner on the volley, leaving the striker to flick it through the keeper's legs. He almost turned provider moments later, taking a good ball from Lappin down the right and clipping in a cross which Carney caught well with a lob which just failed to beat keeper Ran Kadoch.
City were warming up now, with Carney testing the keeper from the edge of the area then teeing up Killen for an effort which just lacked a little power.
That was their last contribution, with a little over the hour deemed enough - youngsters Kris Renton and Luke Daley, a hat-trick hero against Arsenal's second string back in November, given a chance to impress. Not long after it was Leijer's turn for a rest, with Dario Dumic taking over, and then Cureton made way for Tom Adeyemi, the match having by then served its purpose as far as they were concerned.
Barnet were good opposition, although they finished the match with only 10 men, Cedric Smith going off injured to be replaced by their third and final sub - goalkeeper Phil Carpenter, with Kadoch going up front.
t City: Nelson, Smith, Leijer (Dumic 68), Stephens, Eagle, Carney (Daley 62), Lathrope (Kelly 88), Pattison, Lappin, Cureton (Adeyemi 73), Killen (Renton 62). Subs: Rudd. Goal: Cureton 53.
t Barnet: Kadoch, Porter, Gillet, Leary, Yakubu (St Aimie 62), Smith (80), Medley, Nicolau, Akurang, Birchall, Deverdics (Concieo 62). Goal: Yakubu 17.
t Ref: Shon Meale (Norwich)
t Attendance: 1,128