Roeder down to 16 for Owls clash
Michael Bailey He would not use the term himself, but Glenn Roeder is down to the bare bones as his side prepares to prove their away success last weekend was not a one-off.
He would not use the term himself, but Glenn Roeder is down to the bare bones as his side prepares to prove their away success last weekend was not a one-off.
The Norwich boss has just 16 fit senior players to choose from as the Canaries head to Hillsborough to face Sheffield Wednesday tomorrow (3pm), hoping firstly to end a run of six successive defeats against Brian Laws' side, and secondly, to follow up their 2-1 win with 10 men against Nottingham Forest last Saturday.
“It is literally 16 fit seniors,” said Roeder. “We've got to a situation unfortunately at the moment, where the squad picks itself. We're not quite in the situation where the team picks itself yet, like at times last year, but we are very short on numbers at the moment and we need a bit of luck in that department over the next few weeks and through December, because it's such a heavy programme.”
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On-loan full-backs Ryan Bertrand and Elliott Omozusi missed City's 2-1 home defeat to Crystal Palace on Tuesday are both major doubts for tomorrow's Championship encounter with buttock and hamstring injuries respectively, while although forward Omar Koroma restarted training on Friday, he is still at least a week away from contention.
“Ryan is very doubtful. We think it'll just be for this game, same as Elliott. Elliott has a slightly better chance, but probably both lads will not make the game tomorrow but both will be fit for selection against Ipswich.
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“I think having a game on Sunday, it gives us that one extra day with both of those and we expect those to be training certainly no later than next Wednesday, which will give them three days or so of full training so they're prepared for the Ipswich game.
“They're both match fit and they're not going to lose much fitness over the 10 days off.”
There is good news as well. Roeder has Gary Doherty available and the defender is expected to be recalled to the starting line-up having served his one-match suspension in midweek for his red card at Forest.
Darel Russell has now completed a three-match suspension having been dismissed for violent conduct against Preston at the start of the month, but the midfielder may have to settle for a place on the bench behind the in-form duo of Sammy Clingan and Matty Pattison, who has scored in City's last two matches.
Roeder will also take two more players up to Sheffield as part of the football development, 17-year-old academy products Tom Adeyemi and Korey Smith.
“Tom and Korey will be numbers 17 and 18 in the squad, two very young pros. Of the outfield players, they are the two that I am most hopeful will make a breakthrough at some stage towards the end of the season. So those two are going to travel but the team will be made up of the 16.”