Last minute wait on loan cover for Drury
CHRIS LAKEY Peter Grant is poised to make his first raid on the loan market as he assesses the extent of skipper Adam Drury's knee.
Peter Grant is poised to make his first raid on the loan market as he assesses the extent of skipper Adam Drury's knee.
The Canaries boss will be keeping a careful eye on Drury's progress after the left back failed to reappear for the second half of City's 1-0 win at Birmingham on Tuesday because of a knee problem.
Should the prognosis be bad, Grant could be tempted to bring someone in on a temporary basis.
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However, if the medical experts believe Drury will miss just one game, then Grant will likely keep faith with the rearranged defence which held on to take the three points at St Andrew's.
“We will give it to the last moment because he is that important a player for us and I feel that we owe it to him to give him that chance,” Grant said.
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“I'd say he's 80-20 against. It's not as bad as we first feared, but he is still struggling a little bit.
“There is a massive improvement from yesterday morning when we came in so we just hope he continues that.
“He has a dead leg above his knee so he couldn't get full range of movement.”
The fear, as always, is that Drury is brought back too early and misses more games than was necessary.
“What we don't want to do is lose him for a few weeks if we go and play him too early,” added Grant. “I am not one for taking chances on players because I have to look at the long term as well. I don't want him missing for week after week when we could have given him that extra couple of days.”
With Drury in the dressing room, Grant switched Jurgen Colin to left back and put sub Craig Fleming in the right back slot and while he wouldn't be against doing that again, the alternative is the loan move - one which Grant admitted he had already started work on.
“I was looking at that yesterday, but because the news was decent enough with Adam I have to be careful. I don't want to bring someone in if it was only going to be just for one game because I want Adam in the team, he is the captain, I want him to be playing, so it is a situation that I have to be careful with.
“I like balance in the side, but I have no worries from keeping the way the team finished. Jurgen did very well there, even though it is not his natural side, and Craig Fleming came on and was excellent. The two centre-backs were comfortable, we kept them organised and we got a clean sheet.”
Previous boss Nigel Worthington had used the loan rules to bring in Everton youngster Patrick Boyle, who played three games - all defeats - while Drury was out with an ankle injury, but returned to Everton earlier this week just before his deal expired.
“Patrick Boyle has gone back,” confirmed Grant. “I spoke to David Moyes and Alan Irvine. I wasn't here but he had a back injury and we thought it was better he went back. I spoke to the staff and we sent him our good wishes and said his attitude around the place and his training was excellent.
“He was here at that difficult time, but I think it is a fantastic experience for the young man, even thought it wasn't the greatest experience results wise, but I think what he has learned as a footballer hopefully will set him in good stead to have a fantastic career.”
Elsewhere on the injury front, Grant is expected to have on-loan Lee Camp back in the reckoning for the Cardiff visit after the keeper missed Tuesday's trip to the Midlands with a back injury.
“Lee Camp is going to be fine,” said Grant. “Hopefully he will train this morning. He wanted to play in the reserve game last night but I thought it would be better to leave him out just in case because I thought it was too soon, but it was more of a spasm than anything else.”