If anyone ever thought that Lady Luck had changed her attitude towards all things Canary yellow, events of the last 48-hours will have knocked that idea into the long grass.
For while Dejan Stefanovic's two-game ban following his dismissal for dissent at St Mary's on Tuesday night was a wholly self-inflicted wound, news that Middlesborough boss Gareth Southgate has recalled Jonathan Grounds to cover his own injury-stroke-suspension crisis at the Riverside is something few would have bargained for.
Certainly not timing-wise; not coming in the same 24 hours as the 34-year-old Serb saw red.
With John Kennedy still at least a fortnight away from his return from injury, Gary Doherty a further two weeks away and Jason Shackell sat squarely on the bench at Molineux following his ?500,000 switch earlier this summer, it leaves the City boss with just one senior centre-half left for this weekend's visit of Derby County – Elliot Omosuzi.
And even the on-loan Fulham youngster usually plies his trade at right-back.
Back on Teeside and Emanuel Pogatetz's three-match ban kicked off Gareth Southgate's problems; a knee ligament injury to Welsh international full-back Rhys Williams then added to the pressure on Southgate to press the recall button.
“Unfortunately he's got an injury to the left-back, who's going to be out for a few weeks, and Pogatetz, the centre-half, is out for three games for a sending-off and he's been left short himself for defensive cover, so he must protect his corner, like I must protect my corner,” Roeder today told the Evening News.
“But with Stefanovic out for two games and John Kennedy out for a few more weeks – we hope he will be fit for the game at Bristol City – and Doc probably another three weeks or so, we've suddenly been left very, very short.”
No surprise to find the Canary chief staying wholly mum as to who might step into tat centre-half breach. It didn't stop everyone else offering their own alternatives – all of which come with one or two 'issues' attached.
The most natural candidate is the on-loan Spurs Reserve skipper Troy Archibald-Henville. He, however, was deemed still a little 'raw' by Roeder just two weeks ago as the Canary boss pondered aloud his options following Kennedy's exit with a nasty ankle injury.
Archibald-Henville comes with another complicating factor – he will then take up one of the five loan slots you can allocated to domestic-based players.
With nine 'part-time' Canary players now in the building at Colney following yesterday's welcome arrival of Reading's ex-England Under-21 striker Leroy Lita, the Canary management team are faced with an endless juggling act – only slightly helped by the fact that both Kennedy and Arturo Lupoli are registered abroad and don't, therefore, count when it comes to the five-loan limit.
Slam Archibald-Henville in alongside the similarly on-loan Omosuzi and there's two; Ryan Bertrand is three; Lita four; Antoine Sibierski five. Therefore luckless Pompey striker Omar Koroma will have to miss out through no real fault of his own.
Glaring misses stroke wonder saves apart, handed a start at St Mary's the Gambia-born youngster looked to have enough raw pace and power about him to warrant at least a place on the bench following Lita's arrival.
Adam Drury has stepped across into the middle before now; Bertrand could cover at left-back; Wes Hoolahan returning to Roeder's starting plans on the left of midfield. That raises the issue of the City chief going with what he would deem to be two, out-and-out wingers in Hoolahan one side, Lee Croft the other.
And while the one-time Blackpool favourite is no-one's 'out-and-out winger', he still leaves the Canaries far too 'open' for Roeder's usual way of thinking. Whether he then asks Matty Pattison to shore the left up and risk further aggravating his hamstring trouble is another $64 million dollar question.
The final option might be to ask Sammy Clingan to step in alongside Omosuzi. That, at least, eases the whole loan calculation front – but opens up a whole new can of worms with regard to the returning star's international availability for Northern Ireland's forthcoming crunch World Cup qualifier against Slovenia on October 11.
The player himself appears raring to go – for both club and country. Whether Roeder wants him to go anywhere with Northern Ireland again after twice being returned to sender damaged is a very moot point. “If he's not fit for Derby, he's not fit to play for Northern Ireland,” was Roeder's determined line on Monday. But if he is now fit for Derby?
For under FIFA guidelines, if Clingan does-stroke-has to play on Saturday the Canary boss will have little or no choice but to place him back under Nigel Worthington's charge.
“The doctor has told me I should be able to start training again this week,” Clingan told papers in Belfast this weekend, fuelling the hope that he would be available for the Rams game after confounding the doctors' predictions that he would be sidelined for up to six weeks with the serious shoulder injury sustained in his last Northern Ireland escapade.
“I've been surprised myself at the speed of my recovery and the shoulder is still quite tender. But I feel strong enough to be playing again very soon and I am counting down the minutes to I'm back out on the pitch,” he added.
Whether the Canary chief makes the 24-year-old wait one weekend longer is a big, big question. Needs certainly must with Grounds' sudden and ill-timed exit, but that may yet prove more to Worthington's benefit than Roeder's.
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