Take it for granted Shackell will be in
DAVID CUFFLEY Defender Jason Shackell looks set to come straight back into the starting line-up when Norwich City visit Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday.
Defender Jason Shackell looks set to come straight back into the starting line-up when Norwich City visit Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Coca-Cola Championship on Saturday.
The 23-year-old centre-back missed the 2-1 defeat at Southampton, banned for one match after collecting five yellow cards.
But manager Peter Grant said Shackell was a good bet to return at Molineux, leaving him with a selection poser in the centre of defence.
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Shackell partnered veteran Dion Dublin at the heart of the back four in six of the previous seven matches, but Gary Doherty was recalled alongside Dublin at St Mary's Stadium after four weeks on the sidelines with back and ankle injuries.
“Jason will be back in the squad, for sure. It would be difficult to leave him out because he's been outstanding since I came to the club,” said Grant before heading off to watch FA Cup opponents Tamworth in last night's FA Trophy tie at home to Altrincham, a spying mission cut short because the game was abandoned after 45 minutes because of fog, with Altrincham 2-1 ahead.
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“I think if I was a betting man, I'd say he'll be in the side. He hasn't missed out on training, just losing the one game on Saturday.”
One option for Grant would be to reunite Doherty and Shackell in defence and push Dublin into attack.
“It gives me that option if we can keep everybody fit between now and the weekend,” he said.
“The biggest pain in the backside is that the weather is supposed to be getting a bit naughty, so we might have to use our indoor facility because we don't want to get injuries through ground conditions.
“We had a few bumps and bruises from Saturday but everybody's trained very well. They've all trained apart from Luke Chadwick. Luke is desperate to play, that's his enthusiasm, but I would say it's likely to be mid-January.”
Grant said he hoped his side would take the game to Wolves.
He said: “The disappointing thing for me on Saturday was the way we started the game.
“We sat back and we said had before we had to get that out of our systems.
“It's two matches in a row where we started far too late. It's not good enough, it's unacceptable. I want us to be a brave team and I think we'll be a better side for it.
“I haven't lost confidence in the players, I only wish they had as much confidence in themselves as I have in them.”
Grant said he was still making inquiries with other managers about potential targets when the transfer window opens in January. Chadwick is expected to be the first definite signing with his loan deal from Stoke expected to become a permanent transfer.