Manager sees opportunity for points in meeting with former clubCHRIS Hughton was pleased to report a clean bill of health for the players who returned from international duty this week – but did confirm that Ricky van Wolfswinkel will once again be absent from the squad for Saturday’s trip to Newcastle United.
City’s Dutch international forward continues to be side-lined with a toe muscle injury.
“Ricky will miss out at the weekend. It’s one that’s taken a little bit of time. The good news is that it’s not a serious injury, but it’s taken a little bit of time to heal so he will certainly miss out on Saturday,” said the Canaries’ manager at his pre-match press conference on Thursday.
“Thankfully, there are no problems with any of the lads who have been on international duty.
“If I’m looking for any fresh injuries, then we don’t have any. Most people know where we are with Elliott Bennett and Alex Tettey, who are both out for a period of time.
On van Wolfswinkel’s continued trouble, Hughton added: “We need to make sure he gets the rest that he needs. It’s just a toe problem. Sometimes these delicate ones can take a little bit longer.”
The Canaries’ boss does wish that his team would have had a game sooner after the 3-1 triumph over West Ham United a fortnight ago to continue momentum, but still thinks they can take plenty from what was a ‘big win’ in the context of the season.
“When you’re on the back of a win, and you’ve got a little bit of momentum, then of course they are the times that you’re very much looking forward to the next game,” he explained.
“It’s certainly a better feel going into the international break on the back of a win though. If you’ve lost that game, that two weeks can become a very long two weeks.
“It was a big win for us against West Ham, but we’re also very conscious of where we are in this league. We’re not that many points away from teams that are deemed to have had a good start to their season.”
One of those is Newcastle, who are on the back of impressive consecutive victories over Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur in the league – Hughton, however, is keen to emphasise the positives as prepares to face his former team.
“They’re in good form at the moment but they have been beaten at home. You have to try and look for all the positives that you can,” he said.
“It’s a wonderful stadium to go to, and if their team are doing well, their fans can drive them on. I would want every single one of my players to look forward to going there.”