Chris Hughton has not ruled out a swift injury return for Norwich City defender Sebastien Bassong to face Premier League leaders Chelsea at Stamford Bridge this weekend.

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Bassong’s absence was acutely felt in the 5-2 home defeat to Liverpool but Hughton confirmed on Thursday afternoon the centre back is making good progress on the hamstring injury suffered against former club Newcastle.

Bassong has yet to re-join first team training this week, but Hughton is prepared to give the Cameroon international every chance to line up against the star-studded Blues. The City boss also revealed midfielder Anthony Pilkington is back in training after his back problem.

“At the moment with both we are assessing them very closely,” said Hughton, speaking at his pre-match press call at Colney. “Pilkington trained today and we need to make sure that is right. Bassong has made big strides over the past week and he is one we will assess for the weekend. He didn’t train properly today but was very close to it so it is one we have to make a decision.

“Do we miss him? He is a quality player, of course, you only have to look at the games he has been involved in. He has fared very, very well for us so it was a blow to be without him (for Liverpool). How he would have affected the game is impossible to say in hindsight but certainly any opportunity to get him back will be a major plus for us.”

Hughton acknowledged a trip to the champions of Europe is a tough ask for his men after last weekend’s below-par home hammering to the Reds.

“Whether it is this week, next week or next month we have got to play them. They are playing extremely well,” he said. “They have good options within the team and they have probably changed the style of play a little bit from last season. Perhaps if anything they are a bit more adventurous and they have more rotation with the forward players. It will be a tough task. It would be that whether we were on the back of a defeat or in the middle of a good run. It is a difficult place to go. You know that before you go there. You just have to set up the team correctly and give a good account of ourselves.

“It is never an enjoyable week after such a result like that. You are still going over in your mind the last performance to start with and from that point onwards it is about what can you work on to improve for the rest of the week. It is normal in football. You win games, you lose games. If you lose, you hope they are going to end up tight affairs. That was the case at Newcastle the week before. It always hurts, particularly if it is a big defeat. You have to bounce back. You have to see an improvement and that is what the work has been about this week.”

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12 comments

  • I`m `hopeful` that Hoots `rests` Turner until he mends whatever components of that player are not functioning properly - ie the footballing bits. Surely at over £3 million, young Benno is good enough to play if Bassong is not fit? On evidence thus far, Turner plays like a compilation tape of `The Very Worst of Gary Doherty`. We`d even be better playing Cafu @ CB and play little Benno at RB. Chelsea`s strikers must be salivating at the prospects of rich pickings, specially Torres. I really hope I`m wrong.

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    Mad Brewer

    Friday, October 5, 2012

  • I don't think you can better the pep talk John Cleese gave once to a team he was captaining.." Well lads, they look a better team than us on paper, but fortunately, we'll be playing on grass ! "..

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    Timbo

    Thursday, October 4, 2012

  • There is something about CH's psychology right now that is wrong. He is reminding me of Barack Obama, too much rationalism and not enough passion. Unfortunately he is setting his teams up to match his comments too - which Lambert certainly did not do. At this stage I just want Hughton to be able to surprise us - pleasantly that is.

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    Michael D

    Friday, October 5, 2012

  • I can't remeber the "£2 million manager" saying anything other than, "It will be a tough game, there are no easy games", but I think that was expectation management, a.k.a. sandbagging.

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    Swiss Canary

    Friday, October 5, 2012

  • There is something about CH's psychology right now that is wrong. He is reminding me of Barack Obama, too much rationalism and not enough passion. Unfortunately he is setting his teams up to match his comments too - which Lambert certainly did not do. At this stage I just want Hughton to be able to surprise us - pleasantly that is.

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    Michael D

    Friday, October 5, 2012

  • Why does CH always "talk up" other teams,stating how good they are how difficult it will be etc. Thats a negative attitude which if the players take on board will see us half way to defeat before we even kick off!!! How about a few positive words like we can do this,its 11 v 11,I have every faith in my players,we play with no fear-oh sorry that was last season,different manager,different approach but what a winning mentality.

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    canaryjon

    Thursday, October 4, 2012

  • Well, any negativity coming from the squad and Hughton is like a drop in the ocean to the amount of it coming from City fans on this website ... Did Lambo never 'talk up' other teams? I seem to remember him doing it before every game ... And talking of Bassong and Newcastle, there's an interesting post under The Guardian's report of their match tonight against Bordeax (yes, I get around). I quote one Jerry Dammers:"Three years ago we were losing to Scunthorpe in the Championship. What an astonishing turnaround! Well done to all concerned and that includes Chris Hughton."

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    Johnny Gavin Lives

    Thursday, October 4, 2012

  • Can you imagine his team talk: " Now lads don't offend these magnificant European Champions, show respect. Grant, you especially need to show some humility; last season I believe you had the audacity to score against them. How disrespectful. Remember you are only Norwich City not Real Madrid. After they score I want to lads to say thank you. Genuflection is necessary particularly as you failed to let them score at Carrow Road last season. Don't go into their penalty area unless you are invited....."

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    waclor

    Thursday, October 4, 2012

  • Is that the bloke who keeps putting his hand up ie doing a tony adams

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    billythebookie

    Thursday, October 4, 2012

  • You're probably right Brew. Welcome back.

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    jharding

    Friday, October 5, 2012

  • Rumour has it that Paul Lambert is trying to take NCFC to court over wrongful dismissal!! Not sure what legal advice he has taken there!

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    CanaryCitizen

    Thursday, October 4, 2012

  • Canaryjon and walcor, I couldn't agree more, even if your comment was a bit tongue in cheek. I'm getting an increasing feeling of negativity around the squad and I can't help thinking its stemming from Chris Hughton, and his negative approach to the premier league. It's such a contrast to our previous seasons. I think we have the squad, the approach is wrong..

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    Norfolk'n'good

    Thursday, October 4, 2012

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