Payne ready to deputise for missing Gills skipper
Gillingham captain Barry Fuller will not be risked against Norwich City tomorrow as he faces surgery to repair a broken nose. Full-back Fuller picked up the injury in a clash of heads with team-mate Darren Dennehy, just seconds after kick-off in Saturday's 3-2 victory over Leeds United.
Gillingham captain Barry Fuller will not be risked against Norwich City tomorrow as he faces surgery to repair a broken nose.
Full-back Fuller picked up the injury in a clash of heads with team-mate Darren Dennehy, just seconds after kick-off in Saturday's 3-2 victory over Leeds United.
The injury will require surgery and, if treated now, could rule the player out for the rest of the campaign.
Gillingham manager Mark Stimson told the club's official website: "He's definitely out for Saturday. We'll find out this afternoon if he needs surgery so it comes down to whether we can have it done now or delay it.
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"If he has it done now that could keep him out for the season so we'll have to wait and see. He'll be missed but last weekend we had to change it after a minute.
"The boys that came in put a shift in and I'm sure whoever plays there will give everything they've got."
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Jack Payne, who replaced Fuller early in the game against Leeds, is set to continue at right-back against the Canaries.
The 18-year-old Payne has been used sparingly in the side this season but appeared against in both the League One and Johnstone's Paint Trophy games against City, and Stimson has big plans for him.
"I have massive belief in Jack Payne as a football player," said Stimson. "This is a great learning curve for him and great experience. He will gain so much for it.
"This season he started off really well but then came up against players who were physically too much for him. Next year for him is going to be massive and I think the team could be built around him because he is that good."
"He is 18 but doesn't play like one. He has everything and the one thing he's probably lacking is a bit of physical stature but he will do some serious work in the summer with our fitness guy and hopefully beef up a bit."
Stimson added: "On Saturday he was called upon after two minutes and was against a very good left winger. In the end that winger was taken off and he can be really pleased with his week's work."
Defender Josh Gowling is also ruled out as he completes a two-match ban for his red card against Brighton.
Stimson has preferred the partnership of Dennis Oli and on-loan Rene Howe in recent weeks, which means 18-goal leading scorer Simeon Jackson, who scored a penalty in the 1-1 draw against City in September, may once more have to settle for a place on the bench at Carrow Road.
Midfielder Stuart Lewis, who was with Norwich as a youngster, could be among the substitutes.