Grants refuses to reveal 'bug victims'

CHRIS LAKEY Canaries boss Peter Grant is refusing to reveal the identities of players hit by the “Barbie-Gate” bug. At least four senior players have been ruled out of the season opener at Preston tomorrow after being told to stay away from the club's training centre this week after falling ill following a staff barbecue on Sunday.

CHRIS LAKEY

By CHRIS LAKEY

Canaries boss Peter Grant is refusing to reveal the identities of players hit by the “Barbie-Gate” bug.

At least four senior players have been ruled out of the season opener at Preston tomorrow after being told to stay away from the club's training centre this week after falling ill following a staff barbecue on Sunday.


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Grant is concerned at the prospect of giving Preston some inside information and won't say which of his players have been affected.

However, striker Jamie Cureton turned up at the Colney Training Centre yesterday, only to hurry away soon afterwards saying “I've been sent home” before getting into his car and driving away.

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The presence of skipper Jason Shackell and Darel Russel for media duties at the regular weekly press conference means they're available, while the car park yielded its own clues, with Dion Dublin, David Strihavka, Luke Chadwick, Julien Brellier, Lee Croft, Ryan Jarvis and goalkeepers David Marshall and Paul Gallacher all present and correct.

There were few other clues from Grant, although he did confirm that striker Chris Brown, who suffered a broken nose against Vitese Arnhem last Friday, should be fit to start at Deepdale.

Asked why he wouldn't name names, Grant said: “Because I'm not telling Preston.”

“By the time the team sheet comes around that is probably the first time you will know.

He added: “We just have to wait and see on that - it is one of those situations where you can't dictate that and how it is going to effect people.”

The last time Grant had all his players together at Colney was on Monday, but while the exact cause of the illness - which affected a total of about 30 club staff - remains unknown, they have been told to stay away.

“They have been away from the training ground, but it has hit at different times, it is not as if it was all there at once. It was spread over a couple of days,” said Grant.

“Obviously I have to give everybody a chance, but it is obviously difficult for the ones that have been involved because when you have a bug you know what it's like, it takes you a few days to recover.”

Grant's only real problems during the summer have been a groin injury which looks certain to keep Darren Huckerby out of his first squad of the season, and bedding in the new arrivals - but his new campaign plans are a nasty reminder of the constant injury problems he had to cope with last season.

“Going to August 11 you want everybody available so, yes, you are disappointed for sure, but a situation like this is out of your hands,” he added. “I am just disappointed for the guys who have worked so hard. Their fitness work has been fantastic and they have taken that on board themselves through the summer time. Even though we had put the plan together they still had to do it, and they did that to a man and they have worked hard since they came back.

“Yes you get disappointed, yes you get frustrated, but it is out of my hands really. I just have to deal with it and get on with it.

“These things are sent to try you and that's one thing for sure, this job definitely tries you.”

Grant's concern now is exactly when to bring back the affected players, particularly as he has a Carling Cup tie against Barnet next Tuesday.

“With an injury sometimes you can put a time on it, but it's different with a bug - it could be 24 hours, 48 hours I just don't know,” he said. “I am not medically attuned to everything that goes on in the body, some guys will recover quicker than others, but I have to make sure I have the fittest team on the pitch.”

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