Roeder left to sweat on Canary trio

Chris Lakey Glenn Roeder will be keeping his fingers crossed that three of his key players return to Norwich unscathed after international duties this week. The Canaries boss can scarcely afford to lose any more players after admitting he was down to the bare bones for last weekend's game against Swansea.

Chris Lakey

Glenn Roeder will be keeping his fingers crossed that three of his key players return to Norwich unscathed after international duties this week.

The Canaries boss can scarcely afford to lose any more players after admitting he was down to the bare bones for last weekend's game against Swansea.

The 16 players he named were it, as far as his senior professionals go - with 17-year-old Tom Adeyemi, a pro for less than a week, waiting in the wings in case of any last-minute withdrawals.


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Now the City manager faces an anxious few days as he bids farewell to Sammy Clingan, goalkeeper David Marshall and defender Ryan Bertrand. Marshall is in the Scotland squad to face Diego Maradona's Argentina at Hampden on Wednesday, while Bertrand is with England Under-21s for Tuesday's friendly against the Czech Republic at Bramall Lane, Sheffield.

But the biggest concern may be Clingan, who is almost certain to start Northern Ireland's friendly against Hungary at Windsor Park on Wednesday.

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Clingan has “previous” with Nigel Worthington's side, picking up an ankle injury in a friendly against Scotland in August and then injuring his shoulder while on international duty against the Czechs on September 10, which forced him to miss five City games.

He returned for the home defeat by Derby, scoring City's goal from the penalty spot, but was then withdrawn from the Irish squad for their vital World Cup qualifying double header against Slovenia and San Marino, having aggravated the problem.

Clingan has been ever-present apart from that five-game spell, but Roeder's selection problems have been exacerbated by Darel Russell's three-game suspension, which will see him miss this weekend's trip to Nottingham Forest and the home game against Crystal Palace.

Should Betrand be absent for any reason there is a ready-made replacement in Adam Drury - and then Roeder will have to hope that neither of his central defenders are crocked.

Marshall's chances of seeing action increased when first-choice Craig Gordon withdrew from the Scotland squad with an ankle injury, and while Roeder has back-up in Stuart Nelson, the next in line is untested 17-year-old Declan Rudd.

All of which leaves Roeder admitting the obvious: “Of course, it's fingers crossed - cross anything you want to cross,” he said. “There is nothing we can do about it. They have been called up by their countries, they're fit and you have to let them go.”

One problem has been averted, with Roeder happy not to have received a call from South Africa ahead of their home game against Cameroon on Wednesday.

“There was a chance that Matty Pattison might be called for the South Africa international in Cape Town on Wednesday, but thankfully there was nothing because that trip would have been a trip too far to play a Wednesday night in Cape Town and travel back for the game next weekend. But we haven't heard anything from South Africa so we are assuming he won't.”

Roeder has lost one possible back-up option after midfielder Luke Chadwick, on loan to MK Dons, was ruled out of action for a number of weeks with a knee injury.

The 27-year-old, whose three-month loan with the League One side is due to expire at the end of December, is now back at Norwich.

“He's gone back to Norwich to start his rehab, but it's too early to put a timescale on how long he will be out,” said Dons boss Roberto Di Matteo.

Chadwick has been with City for two years, after a loan move from Stoke was made permanent, but has been beset by injury problems and has made just 10 starts.

He was an immediate hit at stadium:mk, scoring three times in seven outings - six of which the team won.

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