Timm Klose faces a major battle to return for the Premier League run-in reveals Alex Neil after Norwich City’s 3-0 Sunderland defeat
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Alex Neil's gloomy injury update on Timm Klose capped a miserable day for Norwich City after a woeful 3-0 Premier League defeat to Sunderland at Carrow Road.
Neil delivered an optimistic bulletin on the Swiss international's knee injury, suffered at Crystal Palace, prior to the Black Cats' visit, but the Scot admitted afterwards Klose faces a battle to return this season.
Russell Martin was also a notable absentee after suffering a fever on the eve of a game that dragged the Canaries firmly back into the mire.
Fabio Borini's first-half penalty and strikes from Jermain Defoe and Duncan Watmore moved Sam Allardyce's squad within a point of fourth-from-bottom Norwich, with a game in hand.
'Timm is going to struggle. He has got a damaged ligament in his knee,' confirmed Neil. 'We don't know if he can get back before the end of the season. Of course it is a blow. He has been a massive player for us. There is not much we can do about it. We just have to get on with it.
'Russell was in the squad and stayed with us at the hotel overnight but he went down with a fever so we had to isolate him from the rest.
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'I said to the lads afterwards if we are going to do, we are going to have to do it the hard way. I think the one thing we have to bear in mind is those teams are still chasing us. They have got to win them to make it count. That is not a given but we have to win games between now and the end of the season. If we don't, it won't be enough.'
Andre Wisdom was also forced off with suspected knee ligament damage in the final minute of normal time leaving Norwich down to 10 men with Neil having made all his substitutions. The Liverpool loanee conceded a first-half penalty when he lunged at Borini, after Norwich were picked off on a swift counter.
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'I think you could argue there were a few questionable decisions. The big ones didn't necessarily go in our favour. On the replay it is clear Andre hits the ball first and then catches the player afterwards. You could ask does he need to make the tackle? That goes against us and then on the second one Seb (Bassong) needs to move the ball quicker. The lad puts his foot in between his, they breakaway and score.
'I didn't feel they were threatening but in the key moments they punished us and it summed it up at the end when we finished with 10 because Andre looked like he had hurt the ligament in his knee. They score the third but I am not convinced it should have got to that stage.'