City boss Glenn Roeder this morning suggested that one or two unnamed individuals might like to keep 'their own counsel' in the future as the Canaries preparations for tomorrow's trip to Bristol City continued to be over-shadowed by allegations of match-fixing.
“I don't know the exact details,” said the City chief, fielding questions for the first time over that increasinly infamous Norwich-Derby clash and the unusual betting patterns that accompanied it in the Far East.
“But I would be 100 per cent certain that there's no-one at Norwich City that's involved in anything at all.”
As for the manner in which the news broke – inspired by the use of parliamentary privilege by two City-supporting MPs – Roeder was again unprepared to comment until he had the full facts at his disposal. In that he is not exactly alone.
“I don't know about how it became public,” he said. “In life, people have to do what they think is right. And whether it is right or wrong is for other people to decide.
“But I do believe too many people publically state their own opinions – they should keep their own counsel. And when I find out exactly how this has all broken and the cause of the irritation I will decide whether I want to say anything publically.”
Quizzed as to whether he had managed to insulate the squad from the headlines that surrounded Norwich's 'outing' as one of the two teams under scrutiny, Roeder hoped that a day off would have helped. No time to swap notes over the Colney dining table.
“The boys were off yesterday,” he said. “We probably do it different to other clubs in that we train Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday in a week when there's no mid-week game and if they're going to have a day off it'll be Thursday, rather than having a Wednesday off.
“So I didn't see them yesterday, but knowing how tough they are as people I don't think it would worry them.”
It was almost a relief to return to such mundane matters as an injury list – headed by right-back Jon Otsemobor.
“Jon Otsemobor will definitely be out – he'll be out for a few more weeks,” said Roeder, with the player himself this week revealing that he had next weekend's home clash with Doncaster Rovers fixed firmly in his mind.
With Elliot Omosuzi therefore pencilled in for a return at right-back at Ashton Gate and Dejan Stefanovic still suspended following his red card efforts at Southampton, all eyes now turn to on-loan Celtic centre-half John Kennedy who has been out for the last three weeks with his own ankle injury.
“He's fit to travel,” was Roeder's simple verdict this morning. “He's done well in the last couple of sessions; we've just got to see how he trains this afternoon. and if he trains well again then he's got a serious chance of making the starting line-up.
“But I don't want to take any chances with him – we've got three games next week.”
Everyone else, however, was there or thereabouts including Sammy Clingan whose aggravated shoulder injury ruled him out of Northern Ireland's World Cup adventures this week. “He couldn't train the week after the derby game,” said Roeder. “His shoulder was still sore.
“But he's come out and trained for the last couple of days and he's another one that we'll assess this afternoon. Hopefully, he'll be OK.”
The one 'fresh' addition to the travelling party will be Gary Doherty who last kicked a ball in anger in the opening game of the club's pre-season tour to Sweden. Thereafter and a serious ankle injury has kept him firmly sidelined.
“He's been training and we're going to take him with us,” said Roeder, all-but admitting that needs must bodies-wise. “Because Stefanovic is still suspended it's whether we risk putting Doc on the bench or not tomorrow. Because we are short of defenders, but it is really too soon for him. But we might just be forced to do it.
“There's three or four of them that need to train well and prove they're fit enough to be involved in tomorrow's game.”
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