Championship grind a big factor in Norwich City’s casualty list

Martin Olsson suffered with a hamstring injury in the early weeks of the Championship season. Pictur

Martin Olsson suffered with a hamstring injury in the early weeks of the Championship season. Picture by Sean Dempsey/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Sean Dempsey/Focus Images Ltd

You do not have to look beyond the Championship grind for the primary factor behind Norwich City's injury woes, according to Alex Neil.

City's casualty list has been a constant theme of the opening weeks, with Alex Tettey the latest absentee for Saturday's trip to Nottingham Forest after suffering a hip injury in the midweek win over Wigan.

'We've looked at everything. It is not just something we have accepted and thought we have a few injuries so get on with it,' said Neil. 'I think if you break them down, Martin Olsson and Robbie Brady both came back from the Euros not ready for the season. They needed that extended break, which shortened their pre-season, and they both broke down in trying to get back in the team. Ivo Pinto has over-stretched on two separate occasions in games - that is his doing rather than anything training-wise. John Ruddy opened up his groin in a game and Graham Dorrans likewise.

'It is difficult to pinpoint one single thing and nail it down and say we need to do that better. We had the best injury record in the Premier League last year I believe and the lads fitness levels are better if not as good as last year. It is nothing to do with that. There is a variety of reasons. Alex Pritchard plays 10 minutes at Blackburn, I think I could still play 10 minutes and be fine. It just so happened he hurt his side and was out for a while.'

Neil shares the frustration of City supporters.

'It is frustrating for me because you don't have a full quota of players to pick from every week but we still find ourselves in a decent situation,' he said. 'The game in the Championship is completely different because regardless of the opposition they will come and have a go. The game never really ends, whereas in the Premier League I think you get lulls where you keep the ball for longer spells. There is probably more high intensity bursts at the top level, but the Championship is non stop from start to finish so maybe the lads' bodies are just coming to terms with that.'

Most Read

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter