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MANAGER ON STOKE CLASH

6 March 2014

City boss offers latest update ahead of the weekend

CHRIS Hughton delivered his latest injury bulletin ahead of Saturday’s visit of Stoke City, saying that he’s ‘very hopeful’ Ricky van Wolfswinkel will be able to return from the knee problem that forced his absence for the Aston Villa game.

City’s boss confirmed that both the Dutch striker and Robert Snodgrass – who was taken off at half-time on Sunday – will train on Thursday with a view to being available for selection.

“Ricky’s going to train on Thursday and we’ll see how he’s going to get through the training session,” said Hughton when speaking exclusively to Norwich City TV.

“Robert is another one that will train on Thursday. He obviously came off on Sunday at half-time but that’s fine, so we’re hoping that he will come through today and certainly be available on Saturday.”

He also was happy that there were no issues arising from the round of international matches midweek, adding: “Most of them were involved in the games, and for those that were involved there were no problems.

“Nathan Redmond, for England’s Under-21s, scored a goal and played the full 90 minutes, as did Russell Martin for Scotland so it was generally positive.”
 


Hughton pointed out the opportunity to rise above opponents Stoke with a victory at Carrow Road this weekend, with the Potters one of 11 teams in the Premier League still trying to extinguish the realistic threat of relegation.

“They’re on the back of a good result against Arsenal, but we’re very close in this league table, and a win on Saturday gives us the opportunity to above them in the league – that’s how tight it is,” he commented.

“Stoke have had a fair bit of stability in their team – they haven’t had to make too many changes because they haven’t had too many injuries.

“We need to get back to the home form that we’ve shown in recent games, particularly against Manchester City and Tottenham where we were able to give our support what they wanted.”

On a long-term front, Hughton reiterated the continued absence of Leroy Fer, Michael Turner and Jonas Gutierrez, but had some positive news on the latter pair.

“Training next week will be the case for both of them. Michael’s been out for a longer period of time, so it will be really good to see him back in the group again,” he said.

“It’s been frustrating for Jonas – he came here on loan and played in a couple of games, but since then it’s been as frustrating for him as it is has been for us. It will be good to get them back because we’re getting into that important part of the season.”


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