Duo warned to be wary of bans creating more midfield problems for Norwich City

Graham Dorrans is one yellow card away from a one-match suspension. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus

Graham Dorrans is one yellow card away from a one-match suspension. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

'Yellow' may well be the chant from the Canaries faithful in the EFL Cup at Leeds this evening – but it is a colour that Alex Neil will be wary of.

That is due to midfielders Alex Tettey and Graham Dorrans both being one yellow card away from a one-match ban, with Saturday's trip to Championship promotion rivals Brighton looming. Add into the mix that Jonny Howson and Youssouf Mulumbu are both out injured as well and suspensions would be costly.

'It's in our thinking, we've obviously discussed it with both of them but in the same sense we can't be too worried in preventing them from playing their natural game,' the City chief said.

'The one thing we've said to them both is that they've picked up a couple of silly bookings this season, which is really frustrating and we don't want to lose them on the back of a silly yellow for kicking the ball away or arguing with the ref or something stupid like that.

'So it's certainly been spoken about so I would expect if it is a yellow card for it to be an honest yellow card, if you like.'

One of Tettey or Dorrans is likely to be needed to play alongside youngster Louis Thompson in the midfield engine room at Elland Road, as the Canaries try to reach the quarter-finals of the EFL Cup.

With Steven Whittaker recovering from minor stomach surgery and fellow full-back Ivo Pinto pulling out of the warm-up ahead of Saturday's 1-0 home loss to Preston with a groin problem, Neil has something of a selection headache.

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'I think we've still got enough at the moment but what we are is not in as strong a position as we were at the start of the season, when we had everyone firing and fit,' he continued.

'Then it made for some real difficult decisions for me because I had to leave some really good players out. Whereas at the moment we're pretty much left with the lads who are fit, which is great and they've done really well for us but it's always better for the squad and better for me if you've got everybody available.'

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