Safri not prepared to rush comeback

DAVID CUFFLEY City midfielder Youssef Safri is taking the softly, softly route to recovery after missing out on Morocco's African Nations Cup victory over Zimbabwe at the weekend.

DAVID CUFFLEY

City midfielder Youssef Safri is taking the softly, softly route to recovery after missing out on Morocco's African Nations Cup victory over Zimbabwe at the weekend.

Safri, who was ruled out of the final five matches of the Coca-Cola Championship campaign because of a hamstring injury, has been guided back to fitness by physio Neal Reynolds, but Saturday's match in Casablanca came a little too soon for the 30-year-old Canary star.

Marouane Chamakh and Youssef Hadji scored in the opening 26 minutes as Morocco beat Zimbabwe 2-0 to claim firm control of qualifying Group 12.


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Safri should be available, however, for Morocco's next qualifier against Malawi on Saturday, June 16.

Said Reynolds: “I advised Youssef not to play in the first match because he has not trained a great deal and, without having spoken to him since, he seems to have followed that advice.

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“He was only fit about two weeks ago but I would imagine he will be able to play in the second game.”

Morocco have a four-point lead over Malawi in the table. Only the group winners will qualify for the 16-team finals in Ghana next year.

City striker Robert Earnshaw was given only the briefest of outings for Wales on Saturday when he came on as a substitute for Ryan Giggs with a minute left of the Euro 2008 qualifier against the Czech Republic at the Millennium Stadium.

Manchester United star Giggs was making his farewell appearance for his country and his departure just before the final whistle enabled Earnshaw to win his 34th cap, but too late to enable him to make any impact on the game.

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