Victory over Derby vital, says Roeder
David Cuffley Norwich City may for once welcome a fortnight's break for international matches - but only if they can secure a second successive Championship home win tomorrow.
Norwich City may for once welcome a fortnight's break for international matches - but only if they can secure a second successive Championship home win tomorrow.
Derby County visit Carrow Road (3pm) with the Canaries looking for the win that should lift them out of the bottom six in the table.
Just one point from two away games has seen Glenn Roeder's men slip from 11th to 19th at a time of the season when league positions can fluctuate greatly from one match to the next.
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But Roeder does not want his side to go into a two-week break on anything but a winning note.
“In view of taking only a point from the Barnsley game and nothing from Southampton when we should have had more, it makes three points from the Derby game even more vital,” he said.
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“Then there's a break to gather ourselves up and get all the injured players fit for the Bristol City game.”
Striker Leroy Lita, on loan from Reading, is set for his debut as City bid to improve on a tally of just seven goals from their first nine league games.
But at least two of the side beaten 2-0 at Southampton will be missing tomorrow with centre-half Dejan Stefanovic starting a two-match ban for his red card at St Mary's Stadium, and on-loan defender Jonathan Grounds recalled by Middlesbrough because of their own injury problems.
With John Kennedy and Gary Doherty still out of action, Sammy Clingan - who has missed five games with a shoulder injury but has trained all week - and on-loan defender Troy Archibald Henville are candidates for a central defensive role, while Adam Drury will be hoping for a recall at left-back.
But midfielder Matty Pattison, who missed the defeat by the Saints with hamstring trouble, is a doubtful starter again tomorrow.
Said Roeder: “It will be touch and go again. He's walking around again without being able to feel the tightness in his hamstring, but he was like that before the Barnsley game and I don't think he was quite himself.
“Once he started to get tired, the tightness in the hamstring started to reappear.
“That's why we took him off and I would say he's 50-50 but we're not going to break him down.”
A blank weekend may be no bad thing for City as they try to get injured players back into action.
“Sometimes it suits you and sometimes it doesn't,” said Roeder. “Maybe with a few of the players we have injured, like John Kennedy and Matty Pattison, the extra couple of weeks without a game is going to be in our favour.
“I hope we'll have most of the ones who are injured fit for Bristol City but, of course, Dejan will have to the serve the second match of his two-match ban.”