Timm Klose could yet feature against Sunderland but it will be a late call says Alex Neil.
Klose has been in terrific form in the run in and jarred his knee against Crystal Palace last weekend. It didn’t look good at the time and he had to go off just before half time. Yesterday, Sky Sports reported that the Swiss International hadn’t trained all week.
At his usual pre-match presser, Alex Neil told the assembled media that Klose is in with a chance of playing, confirming that he’s been wrapped in cotton wool since the injury. That suggests to me that even if he doesn’t make tomorrow’s game then he will be available for the final stretch of the season.
In all honesty, I’d be surprised if Klose does play because the last thing Neil will do is risk aggravating the injury. If it was the last game of the season then maybe but he won’t take unnecessary risks with his star defender.
‘Timm will be a last minute call. He`s not done a great deal this week, however he`s in great nick and he`s played a lot of games for us since he`s been here’ Neil said.
‘Players like Ledley king and Paul McGrath could play without training. He is another one.’
“It`s just a case of wrapping him up in cotton wool and seeing if we can get him out on the pitch on Saturday.”
‘He hyper-extended his knee. The fact he walked back on was good. So it could have been worse. I’ll make the decision at five to three!’
Neil added: “We`ll approach tomorrow trying to win the game and we`ve got every chance of doing just that.”
Yesterday, Sam Allardyce spoke about the pressure and mental side of such a big game, something that Neil doesn’t think his players will have a problem with.
‘My players cope with pressure fine,’ said Neil. ‘We had the same against Newcastle and it’s not a new experience for us.
‘Since 2008 Norwich have been either challenging to get promoted or not to get relegated. It will be a great feeling at the end of the season if we achieve safety.
‘The atmosphere will be crucial. The fans, the clappers in the last game, helped, and the fact we played well and won made it a rollercoaster. We’ll be pleased if we can replicate that.
‘The points would be huge. If we go seven points clear it would be a really tough task for anyone to claw that back with the limited games left. I think everybody is aware of that.
‘It’s not impossible, we’ve got a hard run-in, but history suggests teams down there are unlikely to put that sort of run together.’
‘Both boxes will be crucial,’ he said. ‘If we can manage to keep a clean sheet I think we’ve got enough attacking players to cause Sunderland problems. If we pose a threat, we’ve got every chance of winning.
‘Sunderland, coming here, will really want to get something from the match, so it wouldn’t surprise me if the second half is different from the first.
‘It will be cagey at first and then one or the other will have to go for it. It’s going to get built up, but it’s just another game in which we need to perform.’