Fit-again Scottish international Steven Whittaker is closing in on a long overdue Premier League bow for Norwich City after Canaries’ boss Chris Hughton confirmed on Thursday afternoon the defender is set for a development outing next week.

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Whittaker has yet to feature for his new club in the top flight after damaging ankle ligaments in the pre-season friendly at Celtic just weeks after heading south in the summer from the Bhoys’ Glasgow rivals Rangers.

Hughton revealed Whittaker has taken a full part in training over the international break and is now ready for a competitive return as an over-age player in the scheduled away game at Reading’s U21s next Monday. Fellow Scottish international Robert Snodgrass re-joined training today after missing his country’s recent World Cup qualifying defeats to Wales and Belguim with an ankle problem. Hughton confirmed the midfielder will come into his thoughts for this weekend’s Carrow Road Premier League game against Arsenal if he suffers no adverse reaction.

Hughton has also adopted a cautious approach with strikers Simeon Jackson and Steve Morison, who took part in light training today following their gruelling long haul trips over the international fortnight.

“That certainly altered my thinking for today,” said Hughton. “Both have done a second day recovery, more so Simeon, who played in both games (for Canada) and did more travelling. He only got back late last night but Stevie was another involved in both of his games. Both are in the frame, the same as everybody else, and they are decisions I have to make for Saturday.”

Hughton has drilled the majority of the squad who remained in Norfolk over the past two weeks in a bid to meet the challenge of Arsenal head on after heavy league defeats to Liverpool and Chelsea.

“We have managed to get a good few sessions in, albeit we have had quite a few of the boys away,” he said. “We have been able to work, and around that we gave them some valuable time away from it. We have used the couple of weeks the best way we can.

“There are two trains of thought regarding the amount of goals we have conceded but we also have to take on board we have played top quality opposition. There were a lot of plusses. We were disappointed with the last goal we conceded at Chelsea, but it was certainly a better second half performance. We started the game well and that has to be our outlook on things. We are going to have down days and we need to bounce back and carry a threat and give a good Arsenal side more competition than perhaps we have done in the last two games.

“We have to get back to where we were two games ago. If we look at our season in the league we have had seven games and three of those have been very disappointing where we have conceded goals. In the middle of that we had four very good performances. We needed to get our points in those games. They are all games we could have got maximum points and turned draws into wins.”

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13 comments

  • "We needed to get our points in those games". Yes well pick a team to win rather than a mass of midfield players who get nosebleeds crossing the halfway line. Let's have Grant, Steve and Wes in the team to mount a threat to the opposition and take pressure off the defence. Give Jonny Howson licence to get forward for knockdowns and Pilk to get some crosses into two big two. Better to be successful than subtle sometimes.

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    waclor

    Thursday, October 18, 2012

  • Not sure why Hughton's tactics are confusing to you Mel...and what makes you think they are confusing to the players? Some "fans" seem to think they know football and the players better than a guy who has been in the game at the top level for years. I'd like to know how and why they know better??? I'd also be very interested to learn which team and formation waclor would put out if Holt, Morison, Hoolahan, Pilkington and Howson are in his ideal side? I'm a great admirer of Hoolahan, a terrific footballer. However, against Chelsea he gave the ball away too many times and was easily brushed aside. Lots of fans are calling for him to play regularly without thinking how he is best accommodated. It's a difficult balancing act as does weaken the midfield defensively and other players do have to cover for him.

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    Steve Perrett

    Thursday, October 18, 2012

  • Thanks Manc. I wonder why the club was not so forthcoming. I`d rather have James Vaughan than Cameron Jerome. Perhaps the hacks were getting confused because of Hoots celebrating Cameroon`s ejection from the African Cup of Nations? Meaning we don`t lose Bassong. Negative thinking, really? Butterfield cannot be ready for a 1st team outing yet, surely? Not sure I trust all this twittery, really. I`ve just had one from George Orwell and he`s dead.

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    Mad Brewer

    Friday, October 19, 2012

  • Perhaps steve Whittaker will know where jacob Butterfield is. Not happy with the comment that we need to give a good arsenal side a bit of competition. Be better to win it not' compete'

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    wivenhoebudgie

    Friday, October 19, 2012

  • Sympathy with walcor

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    Swiss Canary

    Thursday, October 18, 2012

  • That is brilliant news. Looks like another inherited player will soon be losing his place to a Hoots signing. Can he play in goal?

    Report this comment

    waclor

    Thursday, October 18, 2012

  • Not so sure about Gunny`s experience, waclor, unless you include golf, lunch & dinner....... Glad to see Whittaker to make an appearance in a development outing. The same was said about Butterfield not so long back..... Where IS Butterfield???

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    Mad Brewer

    Friday, October 19, 2012

  • Rumour Mill: Hoots interested in signing stoke striker Cameron Jerome. 77 career goals in 321 games. No Holty, is he? Perhaps he`s a closet goalie.......

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    Mad Brewer

    Friday, October 19, 2012

  • Hi, Wiv. I`ve asked the Butterfield question again, on another board. Didn`t seem to raise any interest in the last Q&A\Fans` Forum session with the Hacks. Perhaps it`s assumed he`s injured and City are just chosing to stay shtum?

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    Mad Brewer

    Friday, October 19, 2012

  • Thanks for the challenge Steve. I believe that Hoots' team defend too deep which leaves the midfield exposed as there is too much space. The midfield players then appear to crowd the penalty area rather than track their men back. I also believe that when you have limited attacking ambition, your opponents will be freer to attack you and Norwich do not have the defence to withstand a 90 minute bambardment. I agree that Wes was quite easily dispossessed against Chelsea especially for their third ? goal. He was the wrong man in the wrong place at that time. Hoots obviously has more knowledge than I will ever have which makes some of his decisions even stranger to understand. Peter Grant, Bryan Gunn and Glen Roeder also all had much more experience than we fans but.............

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    waclor

    Friday, October 19, 2012

  • It is now becoming nigh on impossible to guess what team Hughton will play. His tactics are totally confusing to most fans and quite probably, most of the players. Sadly, I see another resounding defeat on Saturday, but I am very, very happy to be proved wrong...

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    Mel Lacey

    Thursday, October 18, 2012

  • And regarding Cameron Jerome.. please no! We're not in the championship (yet) for god's sake. Or maybe we're planning ahead.

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    MancCanary

    Friday, October 19, 2012

  • Mad Brewer, everyone.. Re Jacob Butterfield, he's just replied to me on that there Twitter to say "I'm fit and ready to play now." .. so there you have it, from the horse's mouth. So if he's not in the squad tomorrow we'll know it's not due to fitness. Hope he gets a chance, but for me it's Fox to start every time, to be joined by one of Howson, Tettey or Butterfield.

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    MancCanary

    Friday, October 19, 2012

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