Friday, December 21, 2012
Chris Hughton says Norwich City can cope if inspirational captain Grant Holt is ruled out of the festive Premier League opener at West Brom tomorrow through injury.
Holt’s is major doubt for the game at the Hawthorns with a hamstring problem that forced him off against Wigan recently.
The striker’s potential absence could open the door for Steve Morison to spearhead the Canaries’ attack, with Tottenham loanee Harry Kane also pushing his claims for inclusion with a comeback brace in the midweek development league win over West Ham after months out with a broken foot.
Hughton is adamant Norwich have enough strength in depth to defend a club record 10-match Premier League unbeaten record.
“Yes, that’s what the squad is about and that’s why you want the players here that are not playing right now,” he said. “You want the squad as competitive as possible. We have gone through a run where we haven’t changed the team so much but it is impossible to continue that.
“At some stage players are going to miss games, but we want anybody that comes in to be as up to speed as possible and I would have no fears that whoever came in would do the best job they could. At the moment we have certainly not ruled him out completely. The good news is it is certainly not anywhere near as bad as either it could be or as we feared it might be. I would have to say he is touch and go for the weekend. If he did miss West Brom we would certainly hope he is fit enough for the rest of the Christmas period. If I was a betting man, which I’m not, I would say he will miss Saturday, yes.”
Hughton admitted Holt has refused to concede defeat in his personal fitness battle despite sitting out training for the entire week.
“He has done it in the past where he has had an injury and come back a lot quicker than what everybody thought,” he said. “Saturday probably will be a game too soon but with anybody, particularly someone like Grant, you don’t want to rule him out. Grant hasn’t been able to do any training this week but if there is any little chance, he’s that type of individual. We certainly will be guided by the medical department and we certainly wouldn’t take any risk that could put him out for a lot longer period.”