December 5 2013 Latest news:
Paddy Davitt, EDP Sports Writer
Thursday, October 18, 2012
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.
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.”
Chris Hughton admitted Norwich’s soft centre again contributed to their downfall as Luis Suarez inspired Liverpool to a 5-1 Premier League win on Wednesday night at Anfield.