Karl Henry to miss United game as Wolves' plight worsens

Midfielder loses battle to be fit to face league leaders but Hunt and Milijas could feature

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The Independent Football

Wolverhampton Wanderers midfielder Karl Henry has lost his battle to be fit for Sunday's Premier League meeting with the league leaders Manchester United at Molineux.

Henry suffered a hamstring strain 10 days ago and had admitted he was "touch and go" to be available to face United. But the club's caretaker manager, Terry Connor, has ruled former captain Henry out of his plans for Sunday's game and hopes he will be available to face Norwich on 24 March.

Connor said: "Karl is 'touch and go' for whether he can be out training again this week. I think that's what he was really saying.

"Later in the week he will be back doing some sort of training but, as for the United game, I'm not really planning with him in mind. If he's back training at the end of the week and has no problems then it will probably be that he's ready for the Norwich game."

Wolves have several other injury problems with the defender Sébastien Bassong unable to train so far this week because of an ankle injury sustained in last weekend's defeat by Blackburn.

Nenad Milijas picked up a calf strain in training yesterday but fellow midfielder Stephen Hunt is expected to return to training by the end of the week after a hernia problem.

Connor said: "Sébastien's ankle is sore so he's resting for the early part of the week while the physios are hoping Nenad's injury will settle down in two or three days. The good news is that Hunty has been back out running."

Henry's absence will be good news for relegation rivals Queen's Park Rangers, whose striker Djibril Cissé has "no doubt" they will stay in the Premier League this season.

Striker Cissé returned from a three-match ban on Saturday to score his second goal in three games since his January move from Lazio.

But it was not enough to prevent a controversial 2-1 defeat at Bolton that sucked Rangers into the drop zone.

Cissé is not worried, though, and told his club's website: "With this kind of performance, there's no doubt that we are going to stay up.

"We have to produce this every game and we have to score goals. We have to fight until the end and that's what we are going to do.

"I love challenges and I love the club already. I will do my best to help the club stay up because we belong in the Premier League now."

QPR can ill afford more setbacks like the red cards for Cissé and Samba Diakité on their home debuts or the officials failing to spot that Clint Hill's header had crossed the line at Bolton on Saturday.

Cissé added: "It's difficult to take, but the referees are only human and they need help. They need whatever help they can get and video technology is one option. They have to do something because we saw how it cost us the game."

Cissé also admitted QPR could have defended better when Ivan Klasnic scored Bolton's winner four minutes from full-time. The 30-year-old, who had earlier cancelled out Darren Pratley's opener, said: "I am happy to help the team, but when you don't bring the points home, it's a bit useless. With five minutes to go, you cannot really concede a goal like that.

"It's not only the defenders who defend, it starts with the attack. The whole team should have done better."

The former Arsenal striker Ian Wright, whose son Shaun Wright-Phillips plays for QPR, believes the Loftus Road side will be relegated and lucky to get a point from their remaining 10 fixtures. QPR have won once in 16 games and face a treacherous run-in, with trips to Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City ahead of them.

Rangers also host Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham before the season's end and Wright thinks that they will be lucky to get anything from their remaining games.

"I think the players that have come in have not performed to the level that they should. I think that they've got quality players but they're just not playing well, none of them," he said.

"Then you look at their run-in and I honestly can't see them getting a point out of that so it looks like, for me, Wigan, QPR and Wolves [will go down]."