Dublin out of crunch clash

CHRIS LAKEY Glenn Roeder prepares to “go to war” without two of his key foot soldiers after Dion Dublin was ruled out of the crunch clash with Championship leaders Watford.

CHRIS LAKEY

Glenn Roeder prepares to “go to war” without two of his key foot soldiers after Dion Dublin was ruled out of the crunch clash with Championship leaders Watford.

The Canaries boss refused to take any chances with Dublin on Sunday, withdrawing him halfway through the East Anglian derby draw with Ipswich when the 38-year-old complained of a tight hamstring.

Roeder is already without winger Darren Huckerby, who faces a three-match ban after his straight red card against Town, leaving the new City manager with some important decisions to make ahead of the second crucial Carrow Road match in the space of three days.

Dublin's replacement, John Hartson, had a hand in both second-half goals which earned a precious point for the Canaries, but Roeder also has David Strihavka, Chris Brown and Chris Martin - none of whom made the bench on Sunday - in his thoughts. That's where they will stay until today, although Roeder was quick to admit defeat on the Dublin front.

“I have to come clean - he won't be fit tomorrow, it's as simple as that,” he said. “I don't know why these managers try and hide the obvious, I can't see the value in that. If he's out, he's out, Aidy Boothroyd will know that anyway. We have got to go to war with what we've got and Dion won't be one of those, unfortunately.

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“We couldn't take a chance at half-time. He was prepared to go out for another 10 minutes but prepared to go out for 10 more minutes is telling you he is not going to last, he is going to break down and be out for longer.

“He had done so well in the first half for us and he is so important for the team this year, with all his experience and his general demeanour, his attitude around the place, that if it means missing him for a couple of games we shrug our shoulders and accept that rather than lose him for anything up to six, seven, eight weeks even if he had ripped his hamstring, which he would have done had we sent him out.”

Dublin has been troubled by a back injury sustained during the defeat at QPR last month which cost Peter Grant his job, but Roeder believes the two are unconnected.

Striker Jamie Cureton should be fit after coming off with cramp, having scored the goal which earned a derby day point.