Ndah doubtful for Town clash

QUITE what it is that causes players to have hamstring problems when Ipswich Town are their next opponents is not really clear, writes Derek Davis.What is certain is that they invariably make a miraculous recovery just in time to make the team sheet.

QUITE what it is that causes players to have hamstring problems when Ipswich Town are their next opponents is not really clear, writes Derek Davis.

What is certain is that they invariably make a miraculous recovery just in time to make the team sheet.

George Ndah, the Wolves striker who sealed their 4-2 win at Portman Road a fortnight ago, is the latest player to be rated as doubtful with injury just a couple days before they are due to entertain Town at Molineux tomorrow.

The former Crystal Palace and Swindon front man is today expecting to hear the results on a scan and Wolves are said to be 'facing an anxious wait' and 'keeping their fingers crossed' that he will be available.


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Similar utterances emanated from Carrow Road last week as they tried to con Blues boss Joe Royle that David Healy was 'extremely doubtful'. And when Town hosted Wolves a couple of weeks ago, the midlanders claimed Republic of Ireland winger Mark Kennedy was very unlikely to make it, yet, amazingly, both played. Other such examples are littered throughout the season and while we dutifully report what is coming out, we rarely believe opposition managers.

Of course when Royle tells us that Marcus Bent is struggling with a hamstring pull and John McGreal is still stiff and sore we believe him, because it is true. Both missed out last weekend but Town are hoping they will at least be fit enough to travel, even if not selected to start.

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Hermann Hreidarsson completes the final game of his four-match ban and so will be back to face Stoke on Saturday.

Pablo Counago still has two games to go before returning from suspension so Dean Bowditch will be once again be on standby if Marcus Bent doesn't make it.

Royle will look to get Bowditch excused from a European Championship qualifying mini-tournament later this month when the England Under-17s are due to face Czech Republic, Slovakia and Scotland, in three north-west venues.

Town's latest injury worry though is the irrepressible Darren Ambrose who has had an amazing season for Town.

He was laid low by a brutal high tackle from Craig Fleming which jarred his knee and will have further treatment today.

Fleming later damaged a ligament in a foot trying to catch debut-making Bowditch and will miss City's home game with Reading tomorrow.

The City defender was one of three players who should have been sent off, Iwan Roberts for the elbow on Thomas Gaardsoe and Robert Green for clearly taking out Matt Richards who had skilfully beaten him, should also have gone.

If Town play as they did at Norwich and for the first hour against tomorrow's opponents, they could take all three points off Wolves and go within four points of them with a game in hand.

Should Ndah not make it then Dean Sturridge or Adam Proudlock are most likely to partner goal machine Kenny Miller up front, with Nathan Blake an outside possibility.

Miller's hat-trick in the 4-0 thumping of Crystal Palace on Saturday took his tally to 12 goals in nine games and helped Wolves to their first league win at home for almost three months.

Wolves also have injury concerns over Paul Ince who has a gash above his knee and Shaun Newton who has a cut across a foot.

Meanwhile, Tony Pulis, manager of Town's opponents on Saturday Stoke City, has been given the green light to bring in four new players this week.

Bottom club Stoke lost 1-0 at home to Burnley on Saturday and Pulis is desperate to bring in the cavalry ahead of their trip to Portman Road.

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