Size matters to Glenn

Size matters - at least it does to Canaries boss Glenn Roeder, who is preparing to bulk up his squad in a bid to emulate this season's Championship high flyers.

Size matters - at least it does to Canaries boss Glenn Roeder, who is preparing to bulk up his squad in a bid to emulate this season's Championship high flyers.

A week after withstanding a battering in a 1-1 draw at Watford, Roeder sends his team out against a giant-sized Stoke side which is unlikely to contain more than a couple of players who come in at under six feet tall.

And the City boss reckons big is the way to go as he prepares for his summer recruitment drive.

“The players I am looking at, apart from their ability, you want to know how athletic they are, how big they are,” he said. “I know eventually what I want the squad to look like here.

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“Watford - I can say what I want about their style of play, their approach and their brand of football - but it's winning games in the Championship. Go through their team the other night - power and pace.

“Size counts for so much - look at Portsmouth this year. Harry's (Redknapp) admitted it - he went to Portsmouth and the average height was 5ft 9in. The average height is about 6ft 3 now.

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“The game has gone big. Every generation is getting bigger and stronger and quicker and it's getting harder, harder for physically small players to have an impact on the game. You either bury your head to that fact and you are not around for very long or, if you can't beat them, join them.”

Roeder is looking for the best of both worlds at Championship prices

“You have to try and marry up both, but to get both you are talking Premiership prices,” he said. “It doesn't mean there are not players out there that are technically good enough and big enough to win a promotion to the Premiership like we are seeing this year with teams at the top.

“Bristol City I am not an authority on yet, I don't now how big they are across the board, but with all the other teams I am very well aware that they are physically a lot bigger than our squad.”

They don't come much bigger than Stoke, whose armoury - like Watford a week ago - also include a long throw expert in Rory Delap.

“Nearly every team has one,” said Roeder. “You do come across the long throw in a lot of teams in the Championship. Stoke have done very well - they are a team exactly like Watford, there are no surprises to their game plan - long throws, set plays are a major part of their game plan.

“I just think because they are such a big team they are all dangerous.”

City go into the game without the suspended Darel Russell and Gary Doherty, with Darren Huckerby rated only 50-50 because of a groin injury and with Roeder attempting to lift his players after the dismal 1-0 defeat at Coventry on Saturday which left the Canaries with just five points from their last six games.

“We need to get the season going again tomorrow night and what could be a better game against a team second in the table, just like Watford were,” he said.

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