Shackell could get a new role
Chris Lakey Jason Shackell has been revealed as the man who would take over in goal for City should Glenn Roeder's gamble of including just one stopper in his 16-stroing squad backfire.
Jason Shackell has been revealed as the man who would take over in goal for City should Glenn Roeder's gamble of including just one stopper in his 16-stroing squad backfire.
Roeder sprang a surprise last week when he dropped back-up keeper Matthew Gilks for the game against Colchester, preferring to pack an extra striker on his bench and hope that David Marshall came through the 90 minutes unscathed.
Shackell appears to have passed a midweek audition for the role of understudy - although Roeder is hoping his central defender won't be called upon.
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“They tell me he has done it before,” said Roeder. “We have had a practice to see what he's like this week.”
And the verdict?
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“I'd be worried,” he admitted.
“When I was at Newcastle it was Peter Beardsley and he was fantastic, other than taking crosses because he was short, but he was a magnificent reader of the ball as a sweeper and a great shot stopper because he was so quick. He could get down in the corners like lightning.”
The City manager will decide on his line-up this morning.
“Whether I have Gilksey on the bench or not I will make my mind up tomorrow morning, but there is a possibility I go with five outfield players on the bench again,” he said. “
Gary Doherty, whose failure to reappear for the second half against Colchester last week was a precautionary measure following a back complaint, is likely to be fit, while loan striker Maceo Rigters has been staking a claim through extra training session this week.
Rigters has see little action with Blackburn Rovers, but had an impact on his Norwich debut, setting up goal number four after coming on as a 78th-minute sub.
Fitness is now his major concern, but Roeder has been impressed with the Dutchman's first full week.
“I think his fitness has improved and he looked particularly good in training yesterday,” he said. “You can see he has got Dutch football intelligence with the cleverness of his runs, but I have got a lovely problem because we have just won the last game 5-1 - one striker scored a hat-trick and the other striker also scored, so it's a lovely problem to have.
“He has looked very decent this week, and we have given him extra training as well. We've had him back in the afternoons doing fitness work. He needs to improve his fitness, you could see that from the short spell he was on last week that bodily he is probably carrying a few more pounds than he should be, but that's only through lack of activity at Blackburn.”
However, Roeder has ruled out the possibility of Rigters playing a wide role for City.
“No - that has been half of his problem at times in Holland, with the Dutch system of 4-3-3 when he is asked to play as one of the wide strikers it doesn't suit at all,” Roeder said. “He needs to play through the middle and makes runs from in to out, rather than out to win.”