Boss previews Saturday's Carrow Road clash
CITY Manager Chris Hughton is hoping to welcome back midfield duo Alex Tettey and Wes Hoolahan for Saturday’s Barclays Premier League clash with Wigan Athletic at Carrow Road.
The pair sat out the last match against Aston Villa, with Tettey also missing the Swansea clash, but with a glut of games over the Christmas period on the horizon, Hughton hinted at their possible involvement in the squad at the weekend, along with some more good news on the injury front.
He told Canaries Player: “Tettey and Hoolahan both come into contention for Saturday.
“It was a difficult day training on Thursday because of the conditions, and we weren’t able to do enough on the surface that we would have liked, but it was still a decent enough day, so they come into contention.
“We will assess Steven Whittaker tomorrow – he hasn’t done any training this weekend, we just need to make sure that he’s right.
“Ryan Bennett will miss Saturday with a very slight knee problem, but we’re hopeful that he’ll be available for the West Brom game.”
Despite having their ten-game unbeaten run ended with a 4-1 defeat to Aston Villa in the Capital One Cup Quarter-Finals on Tuesday night, Hughton’s Canaries have been in astonishing form in recent weeks, and the Manager is keen to extend the Premier League’s current longest unbeaten run against Wigan.
“We are in good form at the moment,” said Hughton. “We were probably beaten by an Aston Villa team that was more clinical on the day than we were.
“At 1-1 it was very close up until their second goal. Chances went both ways and probably the team that got a second goal was going to go on and win it.
“I can’t fault the endeavours of the lads for getting to a quarter-final, but it wasn’t to be and it’s back to basics now and to our league campaign where we hope to continue to good form that we’re in.”
It will however be no easy task to secure victory over Roberto Martinez’ Wigan Athletic, who play an attractive brand of football with three centre backs in a 3-5-2 formation, and who will be desperate to climb out of the relegation zone.
Last time out an injury-hit Latics drew 2-2 with rock-bottom Queens Park Rangers, but have won four times on the road in the league and cup this season – including a 1-0 success over Spurs at White Hart Lane.
Hughton added: ”You prepare yourself exactly the same way [as you do for any other game]. They are a very good side, Wigan, and I think sometimes circumstances mean that you find yourselves in a position in the league that you might feel is a false position.
“Everything I’ve seen about Wigan has been good. They can certainly score goals because they have enough offensive options, and they changed the system last season which I think has worked very well for them.
“They are a very well-drilled football team, and have suffered in recent weeks with injuries, but our approach has to be the same as it is for any other game.”
To watch Chris Hughton's pre-match press conference in full on Canaries Player, click here.