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Managers play mind games

PUBLISHED: 23:40 28 February 2003 | UPDATED: 16:22 24 February 2010

THE mind games continue as both managers keep their player cards close to their chest ahead of tomorrow's crunch Carrow Road derby game.

Joe Royle will not know until later today who he will have fit for the trip up the A140 but has confirmed Andy Marshall will start in goal.

THE mind games continue as both managers keep their player cards close to their chest ahead of tomorrow's crunch Carrow Road derby game.

Joe Royle will not know until later today who he will have fit for the trip up the A140 but has confirmed Andy Marshall will start in goal.

The Blues boss has called on Town fans to get behind Marshall, who expects a vitriolic return to Norwich after leaving them to play in the Premiership with Ipswich in the summer of 2001.

He said: “He always was going to. We gave James Pullen a chance last week in a game where we thought he would not be overly busy, which he wasn't, but Andy's greater experience makes him right for this game.

“I hope our fans get behind him and give him a chance. It is a hard game for him to say the least. It was a difficult task for him to come here given his Norwich connections and following Richard Wright, who had been so successful.

“Andy knows he has not been at his best but he knows he can be a hero with a clean sheet at Norwich on Sunday and win over the doubting fans.”

Royle has included 16-year-old striker Dean Bowditch in his 16-man squad.

The young England forward has been handed the No. 17 shirt for the season but will only be used in an emergency tomorrow.

Royle said: “We are still waiting on how the senior players are before deciding on what part he will play. He has done very well and we are quietly delighted with him. We know if called upon he would not let us down but remember he should be with the Under-17s really.”

John McGreal and Marcus Bent are ruled out while Fabian Wilnis will need treatment to a knee injury after colliding with Hermann Hreidarsson in training.

Alun Armstrong is out with a fractured wrist, Pablo Counago is suspended and Richard Naylor is a little frail after a devastating bout of gastro-enteritis.

McGreal and Bent, rated at 50-50 'at best' by Royle at lunchtime yesterday, were both ruled out last night.

McGreal has had a stiff back and Bent has suffered with a sore throat and a tight hamstring this week after pushing himself too hard in training after ignoring an initial twinge.

Teenager Matt Richards could make a start in place of McGreal, although Chris Makin should recover from his back and leg worry.

Although the injury and suspension list makes grim reading Royle was relaxed in his pre-match conference.

He quipped: “Richard has lost 11lbs in three days, which is some virus - perhaps I should try to get hold of the bug.”

Town snatched a dramatic late point to deny Norwich victory at Portman Road and Royle is aware they are a difficult proposition at Carrow Road.

He said: “All praise to Nigel (Worthington). They have done extremely well and have a strong home record. They are not an obvious team of stars but they work hard for each other and will make it very hard for us.”

Royle picked out Craig Fleming and Iwan Roberts from the City side as players to particularly watch out for.

“Big Iwan is still doing a job for them. He has been around a few clubs and has got better with age. It is predictable what he does but he does it well and he is sticking the ball in the net, which is a great trick to have.

“I know Craig well, I bought him from Halifax Town, which seems a lifetime ago but can remember him making his debut against Ryan Giggs and running yard for yard with him.”

City have doubts over Gary Holt, David Healy and Phil Mulryne, while Darel Russell is ruled out. Malky Mackay and Steen Nedergaard are both suspended.

Norwich City: Green, Kenton, Drury, Fleming, Bromby, Holt, Easton, Sinclair, Rivers, McVeigh, Healy, Roberts, Nielsen, Abbey, Crichton, Briggs and Heckingbottom.

Ipswich Town: Marshall, Wilnis, Makin, Gaardsoe, Richards, Holland, Magilton, Wright, Miller, Ambrose, Abidallah, D Bent, Naylor, Reuser, Pullen and Bowditch.

Referee: Graham Laws (Whitley Bay).


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