Four seniors in doubt for QPR clash

CHRIS LAKEY Norwich City have been struck by another injury crisis, with four of Peter Grant's senior players in doubt for Monday's crunch match at Queens Park Rangers.

CHRIS LAKEY

Norwich City have been struck by another injury crisis, with four of Peter Grant's senior players in doubt for Monday's crunch match at Queens Park Rangers.

Ian Murray, Adam Drury and Jamie Cureton could all join Gary Doherty on the sidelines for the trip to the Championship's bottom club.

Doherty, Murray and Cureton were all due to have scans yesterday, but none of the struggling quartet are likely to take part in full training before they head south on Monday.

The only bright spot for the under-pressure manager is that skipper Jason Shackell returns after a three-match suspension - but Grant will almost certainly have to name his fourth new central defensive partnership of the season.

Doherty has a groin problem which was aggravated in the home draw with Scunthorpe on Tuesday, while Murray and Cureton both have foot injuries and Drury has suffered a recurrence of the back injury which saw him sit out the debacle at Wolves almost a fortnight ago as well as the Carling Cup defeat at Manchester City.

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“Jamie didn't train before the game the other evening and I think you could actually see he was carrying it a little bit,” said Grant.

“But he was desperate to play in the game and that's always a great sign from footballers. I was willing to take the chance with him because I just thought it was the sort of game where a half chance was going to come along and there's not much like Jamie Cureton in the division at taking half chances.

“It wasn't to be and hopefully we are not going to suffer too long with that - maybe that's the only beauty of the game being on a Monday evening instead of a Saturday- if it was Saturday I'd say he'd be very, very doubtful.”

Grant's option at the back is to go with Dion Dublin and Shackell, although if Murray is fit he is likely to play with the returning captain, even though it would mean two left-footed players at the centre of defence.

“Ian is very comfortable on his right foot, he can pass the ball with his right foot as well as he can with his left,” said Grant. “He is very fortunate in that respect and that's one of the reasons I brought him here.

“He played right back for Rangers for a long time even though he played a lot of games at left back. I see him as a central midfield player and he scored a hell of a lot of goals from midfield for Hibs, and that is why he got his big move to Rangers.

“He has played centre back and done well there. I think he has been great for us and I'm thankful we have had him here. I will be very disappointed if I lose him as well, just as he is finding his feet.”

Grant has blamed City's recent travelling schedule for Drury's problem.,

“Sometimes we tend to forget the amount of travelling - the supporters know - because you are up and down the country all the time,” he said. “There is nothing we can do about it. We try and get the boys to walk up and down the bus but on some occasions it just doesn't work, it's not enough.

“It is part of the nature of it when we are out in the sticks.”