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Oliver to be given every chance

11 October 2012

City boss Phil Parkinson says he will give giant centre half Luke Oliver as long as possible to prove his fitness ahead of this Saturday's visit of York City to the Coral Windows Stadium.


Oliver missed Tuesday night's penalty shoot-out victory over Hartlepool United in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy after jarring his hip in the latter stages of last weekend's league match at Dagenham & Redbridge.


He has been receiving treatment on the injury throughout the week but it is not yet known whether Parkinson will be willing to include him in his starting eleven against York or not.


Should Oliver miss out, it will be the first time City will take to the field in a league fixture this season without the defender's presence at the back. 


"Luke is still not 100%," admitted Parkinson when asked about the defender's fitness.


"We will be giving Luke every opportunity to prove he is right for this weekend, however.


"He's a tough lad and he doesn't like missing games.


"He's done great for us this season and last season, and it would be great to get him out on the pitch for Saturday.


"But equally, if he has an injury that could concern us long-term, we'll have to play someone else."


Issues over Oliver's fitness this weekend have become all the more important following the recent call up of fellow defender Rory McArdle into the Northern Ireland squad for their forthcoming World Cup qualifying match in Portugal.


McArdle, who moved across to centre half at Hartlepool United to cover Oliver's absence, will miss City's date with the Minstermen this weekend as a result.


The defender is currently out in Portugal with the rest of his international team-mates preparing for the qualifier, but with the game itself not actually scheduled to take place until next Tuesday, Parkinson has revealed that he tried in vain to get permission for his defender to join up late.


"We have mixed emotions regarding Rory's call-up," said Parkinson.


"Obviously we're delighted for Rory that he has received the call but we're disappointed that he's not going to be available to us for the York City match.


"I think Rory is of the same opinion. He is honoured to be representing his country but gutted that he will be missing the York game for us.


"I did actually ask Michael O'Neill (Northern Ireland's manager) if Rory could stay and play for us on Saturday and then fly out after the game, especially given our injuries problems, but the rules are the rules. 


"The Northern Irish F.A and Michael wanted him out there now to begin their preparations for their game on Tuesday."



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