Just how desperate City's player plight has become was revealed in all its grisly detail by under-fire boss Glenn Roeder last night.
And, no – before anyone asks – he had no intention to either try and recall the on-loan Luton pairing of Micky Spillane and Chris Martin or Barnsley's on-loan Canary, Jamie Cureton.
“The two boys at Luton… I don't think they can come abck and I wouldn't call them back anyway,” he said. “At the moment they're playing in Division Two and doing just OK.
“And there's one at Barnsley for three months and as of tonight, he will see his loan out at Barnsley.”
Finally speaking to the Press after an hour-long lock-in with his ever-shrinking squad after last night's wretched 1-0 FA Cup third round replay exit to Charlton Athletic, Roeder's medical update was more a briefing from the ops room at ER than a manager discussing the odd bump and knock.
Certainly, the case of full-back Jon Otsemobor made for particularly alarming listening as the 25-year-old prepares to under-go a series of exhaustive tests tomorrow to get to the root of breathing difficulties and “mysterious chest pains”.
“Everybody that we had available was in the squad tonight,” said Roeder, with youngster Korey Smith and even Carrow Road's forgotten man, Simon Lappin, finding their way to that seven-man bench.
“There was none of our players sat up in the stands – that is Norwich City at the moment.”
Which will have most Canary punters reaching for the panic button and slamming down on it hard ahead of this weekend's crucial home league clash with Barnsley. Others have already made their feelings plain with groups gathering in Carrow Road afterwards to demand Roeder's exit.
“And we've got players who had to start with injuries,” he continued. “Adam Drury ws one. He wasn't taken off for any tactical reason [at half-time]. He had to come off because the injury he started with detoriated during the first-half.
“Ryan Bertrand was injured and had to be on the bench, but he's come on and played in the second-half.
“Jon Otsemobor came in from the warm-up and it was 50/50 as to whether he was going to start the game. He's had a chest problem recently where he's been getting pains in his chest and that is being investigated with extensive tests on Thursday. Because we want to make sure that there's nothing going on in there that's of a greater concern.
“Wes [Hoolahan] sat on the bench injured with a couple of groin strains. We tried to save him for Saturday, but we needed to throw him on in the second-half. And as you can see we've got a player in Carl Cort who I didn't want to start because he needed match practice. And he had to get his match practice by playing tonight.
“And for someone who hasn't played football for eight or nine months, overall the big man did OK.”
Tot all those up – and both Drury (knee) and Otsemobor must be rated extremely doubtful for Saturday – and the fact that the on-loan Jonathan Gronds will be available again barely makes much of a dent in Roeder's stricken squad.
David Bell has an on-going ankle issues that would appear to be inhibiting his game in open play – he did at least deliver a perfect second-half corner for Cort to head goalward only for the Addicks keeper to acrobatically tip over. That was roughly it as far as Norwich's moments of genuine threat were concerned – not big and clever given was a Charlton side that had not won a game in their previous 18 outings and featured eight Academy products in their own, ravaged squad.
Lee Croft, Gary Doherty, Mark Fotheringham, Darel Russell, Sammy Clingan and David Marshall would appear to be the handful of players without too much to worry about; Arturo Lupoli was, said Roeder, feeling the effects of his efforts at Bramall Lane on Saturday.
“For me, it looked as if the effects of all the effort and running he did on Saturday took its toll tonight. Because although he was out there trying his hardest, he didn't have the same zip as he did on Saturday. But that's to be expected. He hasn't played a lot of football.
“So things are generally tough at the moment,” said Roeder, without a trace of understatement. “And they're facts, not excuses. I'm telling you how it is. That's us at the moment, but we will pull through this. We're not a million miles away from turning it around.”
City's need is obvious. As in stark, staringly obvious.
“We need to find a couple of strikers as quickly as possible,” admitted Roeder, one of the problems being that so does everyone…
“This season we've missed too many chances. And we need another central defender – which, hopefully, we're working on to try and eradicate some of the mistakes that we're making.”
Had he any chance of bringing in an extra body in before Barnsley? Was that realistic?
“Tonight? No,” he said simply. “But tomorrow is another day…”
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