Earnshaw to miss Fakenham friendly

CHRIS LAKEY Norwich City will be without £3.5m striker Robert Earnshaw when they get their pre-season schedule under way at Fakenham tonight (7.30pm).

CHRIS LAKEY

Norwich City will be without £3.5m striker Robert Earnshaw when they get their pre-season schedule under way at Fakenham tonight (7.30pm).

The Wales international is sidelined with a minor knock, along with club skipper Craig Fleming, Ian Henderson and young defender Matthew Halliday. All should be back for Saturday's trip to Cambridge.

"They just have some minor pre-season strains and we will be protecting them more than anything else," explained manager Nigel Worthington.


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The quartet are joined on the sidelines by goalkeeper Robert Green, who is recovering from his groin injury, and defender Matthieu Louis-Jean, who has yet to shake off a hamstring injury which restricted him to just two starts last season.

Worthington will give all of his travelling professionals a 45-minute run-out at Clipbush Park - including latest recruits from the Academy, Michael Spillane, Andrew Cave-Brown, Robert Eagle and Andrew Fisk.

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"We will try and get everybody 45 minutes so we don't overdo things and run the risk of injury," said Worthington. "It is just a case of getting game practice and getting the lads into it again. They have done a lot of work over the past 16 days and that work has been heavy."

While City aren't expected to be pushed too hard tonight, players have their first chance to stake some bragging rights as far as selection goes. With no new additions to his squad so far, Worthington has most positions filled and a starting line-up wouldn't be the most difficult to name.

However, there may be something of a log-jam in midfield, where the two central berths are contested by four players - Youssef Safri, Carl Robinson, Dickson Etuhu and Andy Hughes - while brothers Ryan and Rossi Jarvis will be hoping to impress at their hometown club.

One factor in choosing Fakenham for the opening friendly fixture was Clipbush Park's bowling green surface.

"It is always nice to take the team out into the community, but the biggest thing is the surface we are playing," said Worthington. "We just cannot run the risk of an uneven surface."

Entry tonight is £8 for adults and £5 for under-16s and senior citizens.

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