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Norwich City boss Alex Neil assesses his walking wounded ahead of Burton test

Nelson Oliveira could be out for a month because of a foot injury. Photo: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd.

Nelson Oliveira could be out for a month because of a foot injury. Photo: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd.

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Alex Neil will have no choice but to send a patched-up Norwich City into battle against Burton.

Nelson Oliveira, Youssouf Mulumbu and Ivo Pinto joined a growing casualty list ahead of the midweek 2-2 Championship draw against Newcastle United.

Neil expects Oliveira to be out for at least a month with a foot injury, while Pinto (foot) and Steven Naismith (hamstring) are major doubts for the weekend trip to the Brewers. Graham Dorrans is still some weeks away from a return, after a knee injury, while Louis Thompson’s season is over following surgery on a ruptured Achilles and Mulumbu is struggling with a thigh issue.

“The problem for this weekend is you can only change if you have players available,” said Neil. “We were literally down to 18 to pick from (for Newcastle). Ben Godfrey is one of the younger lads, so too the Murphys and even Alex Pritchard, so you go beyond them you are digging into the under-23s squad.

“Going again with games in such close proximity is hard because we want to get after the ball and press. When you play good sides, with the energy of a Newcastle, you can’t do it three times a week. What I have tried to do of late is mix my teams up to make sure lads are fresh. That helped us with Jacob and Alex Tettey, who I thought were excellent. Steven Whittaker, for someone who hadn’t played much recently, came in and really applied himself well. It isn’t any surprise none of those played in the previous game.”

City head to Burton four points away from sixth-placed Sheffield Wednesday after the Magpies hit back late at Carrow Road.

“What it does do is keep us unbeaten (in the league) this year,” said Neil. “We won seven out of eight earlier in the season and we are capable of putting together a whole host of games. Newcastle is a really good side. The tempo, certainly in the first half, was of a Premier League standard based on the games I watch week in, week out. It was two powerful teams going toe-to-toe.

“I said before during our bad period we lacked a bit of fortune as well. It really is fine margins at times. We made an early error at the back, (Aleksandar) Mitrovic goes through and John Ruddy makes a great save. On a bad run the ball goes in the net.”

12 comments

  • Funny game football. Strange things results. We are now in the middle of the return fixtures that saw us top the table in early autumn, and results are good again. Soon we get a rerun of the games that made a mess of this season. Paranoid, me probably . Cant afford to mess up again.

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    wiven

    Thursday, February 16, 2017

  • Did anyone care to point out to Alex that we are not, in fact, unbeaten in the league this year? #Rotherham

    Report this comment

    OzzyCanary

    Thursday, February 16, 2017

  • rob - overharsh.

    Report this comment

    DJ_FRAMBOISE

    Thursday, February 16, 2017

  • Matt Jarvis was injured when his loan was made permanent so we were warned. It's not his fault though and I am sure he would rather be playing.

    Report this comment

    waclor

    Wednesday, February 15, 2017

  • Matt Jarvis was injured when his loan was made permanent so we were warned. It's not his fault though and I am sure he would rather be playing.

    Report this comment

    waclor

    Wednesday, February 15, 2017

  • I can understand injuries , It happens. But Jarvis? Please pay him off and get rid of the useless waster.

    Report this comment

    rob

    Wednesday, February 15, 2017

  • Spot on malager ------things will change at the end of this season when we will have a new manager.

    Report this comment

    superfan59

    Wednesday, February 15, 2017

  • Most teams have injuries especially given the pressure of games at this level. We have a big squad and we have numerous youngsters who ought to get a chance. I think on balance the playoffs may be just half a step too far given the gap between us and Sheffield Wed and the fact they have a game in hand. If we squeeze in so be it. But if not then we will have to look ahead to next season, when surely the likes of Maddison will get into the squad. If not then what is the point of bringing them on? I do not see us as a PL survival team as we are because our defence remains so porous. This point was made on Five Live last night and is valid.

    Report this comment

    malaga flier

    Wednesday, February 15, 2017

  • And Jarvis has been injured for so long that he isn't even mentioned nowdays!

    Report this comment

    Johnny Gavin Lives

    Wednesday, February 15, 2017

  • Perhaps Howson instead of Wes at start.

    Report this comment

    scousecanary

    Wednesday, February 15, 2017

  • No point whingeing. If we are to challenge for play offs then we have to get over these injuries. That is what having a balanced squad is all about. Give the youngsters a chance and play 3 at the back with Russ, Tim and Mitchell. Tettey and Godfrey protecting back 3 and Wildschutt and Jacob out wide with Alex and Wes in middle behind Cam.

    Report this comment

    scousecanary

    Wednesday, February 15, 2017

  • No mention of James Madison. Is he over his back injury or just overlooked?

    Report this comment

    waclor

    Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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