Roeder stands firm over Clingan debate

David Cuffley City boss Glenn Roeder today insisted that midfielder Sammy Clingan will not be released for international duty unless he is fully fit. Clingan has missed four Championship matches since injuring his shoulder in Northern Ireland's game against the Czech Republic.

David Cuffley

City boss Glenn Roeder today insisted that midfielder Sammy Clingan will not be released for international duty unless he is fully fit.

Clingan has missed four Championship matches since injuring his shoulder in Northern Ireland's game against the Czech Republic.

But the 24-year-old said at the weekend he was “counting down the minutes” to his return to action, and was today named in Nigel Worthington's squad for next month's World Cup qualifying games against Slovenia and San Marino.


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But Roeder warned that even though Clingan was named in the squad, it did not mean he would be reporting for duty. Last week he suggested the away game at Bristol City on October 18 would be a realistic target.

He said: “If he's not fit to play against Derby, he's not fit to play for Northern Ireland. Nigel Worthington is famous here for withdrawing his players from international duty - that is fact.

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“I'm sure he will be in the squad. I've no doubt about that, but whether he's fit to go is an entirely different matter.

“If he's not fit to play against Derby, he will not be going to play for Northern Ireland because he won't be fit enough.

“He earns his wages playing for Norwich, not for Northern Ireland. As I've said before, playing for your club is the most important shirt you wear. The other shirt is an honour but it's not the most important.”

Roeder believes City have lacked Clingan's influence in midfield, despite taking seven points from the four games he has missed.

He said: “I think in the last few games we've started to miss Sammy Clingan. We've missed his link play of retaining possession for the team.”

One of the men to step into central midfield, Matty Pattison, is doubtful for tomorrow night's trip to Southampton.

Pattison was substituted after an hour in Saturday's 0-0 draw at Barnsley.

“Pattison is a little bit tight in that hamstring again,” said Roeder. “We don't think he's damaged it any more than he did when he had to come off against Sheffield United, but there's always a risk playing him.

“He hasn't gone back to square one but it's tight this morning. It was tight coming back on the coach on Saturday and he's still aware of it this morning so he's very much touch and go.

“If he doesn't make it he should be OK on Saturday, but we don't want to do damage to it where he's out for a month or more. We'll wait and see. He'll travel anyway.”

Striker Arturo Lupoli, who missed the trip to Oakwell with hamstring trouble, should be fit to return.

“He trained yesterday morning. He seemed fine,” said Roeder.

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