Manager delivers good news on Gary Hooper

CHRIS Hughton offered positive news on the injury front as he confirmed Gary Hooper has felt no further problems after being taken off as a precaution against Manchester United.

City’s leading scorer was withdrawn midway through the second half against the Premier League champions, but Hughton says he has been able to continue with his regular routine ahead of the trip to Crystal Palace on New Year’s Day.

“At the moment, he’s ok. It was very much a precaution. It was something he flagged up to us at half-time, and we needed to be sure that he was going to be ok,” said the Canaries’ manager at his pre-match press conference at Colney Training Centre.

“He was in yesterday and he was fine, they didn’t train today because they were having a recovery session and then we expect him to train tomorrow.

“Jonny (Howson) is a doubt as he has been for the last couple of games, but we’re giving him every opportunity to come through.”

The Eagles sit 17th in the Premier League but will draw level on points with Norwich if they triumph on Wednesday – although Hughton refuses to highlight any game as bigger than another.

“I can understand the terminology of a ‘six-pointer’, and I suppose any game with a team around can be called that, but I think with the way the league is at the moment there will be a lot of games that could be called that,” he said.

“We are on the back of a very good performance if not result against Manchester United, but we’re very conscious of the league position we are in, and it’s of course a position which we’d prefer not to be in.

“There’s always an opportunity, though, and the next one is a game away to Crystal Palace on Wednesday, and we will be endeavouring and giving everything to win the game.”

On Palace’s resurgence under Tony Pulis, Hughton added: “I think they’ve felt the effects of a new manager coming in with different ways, and they’ve made themselves harder to beat, which we found at Carrow Road.

“Tony is somebody that’s used to this division, but it has to be about our philosophy going into the game and we have to make sure we give ourselves every opportunity like we have done in recent games away from home.”

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