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Club News


6 February 2014

Thigh problem puts defender's place in doubt

CHRIS Hughton says Ryan Bennett faces a race against time in order to be fit for Saturday’s match against Manchester City after picking up a thigh injury in training.

The central defender has started every league game in 2014 but City’s boss confirmed he is a doubt for the visit of Manuel Pellegrini’s side.

“Ryan hasn’t trained this week and it will be touch and go as to whether he’ll be available on Saturday,” said Hughton when speaking at his pre-match press conference on Thursday.

“He felt his thigh slightly. It might end up being a fitness test before the game, but of course we’re hoping he’ll be available because he’s playing very well at the moment.”

Manchester City have scored 68 goals in their 24 Premier League matches this term, and Hughton thinks the key to this weekend’s encounter for his side will be solidity married with a confidence in possession.

“The teams that have been successful against them are the ones that have defended well, and when the turnover has come and they have possession of the ball, they keep the ball,” he added.

“You know that they can score at any stage, so you have to make sure that you’re aware of that and defend well, but we got into every game wanting to win that game."

On whether loan signing Joseph Yobo will be considered if Bennett fails to regain fitness, Hughton commented: “He’s just been part of a mini-preseason that they’ve had before he came here, so his levels are very high.

“He’s been involved in three friendlies for Fenerbahce, so in terms of being up to speed he’s got a very good fitness level at the moment.

“He’s in the squad, but I’m still yet to pick my team, but the reason we brought him was to compete for a place, the same as everybody.”

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