Paddy Davitt, Norwich City Writer
Monday, February 10, 2014
Norwich City midfielder Robert Snodgrass is the Canaries’ biggest injury doubt ahead of Tuesday’s Premier League trip to West Ham.
Snodgrass will undergo a fitness test after missing the weekend’s 0-0 top flight draw against Manchester City with a groin injury. Chris Hughton confirmed at Colney on Monday morning Ryan Bennett (thigh) and Jonas Gutierrez (calf) will miss the trip to Upton Park, with Newcastle loanee Gutierrez set to be sidelined until the start of March.
Jonny Howson is on course to return to training next week after a long term absence with a back problem but Hughton is not setting any similar timeline on Michael Turner’s (hamstring) potential return.
“Michael is back running now but that will still be a number of weeks. We are hopeful Jonny will train with the team next week, which is good news because he has been out for sometime,” said Hughton. “We have a chance with Robert (for West Ham). He will have a fitness test tomorrow if we get to that stage with him, but he is looking a bit more promising. Jonas and Ryan are both out. Jonas just has a calf strain and we feel it might be two to three weeks.”
Norwich will travel to the East End buoyed by a spirited display against the title-challenging Blues to face a Hammers’ outfit missing the suspended Andy Carroll.
“What West Ham have shown is that when they have looked for a goalscorer or a bit of inspiration, then Kevin Nolan has come up trumps for them, and that is the type of individual he is,” said Hughton. “When you look at team selection, there is always something that can hurt you, for somebody who does not play, it is an opportunity for someone else. You can only play against the team you are up against, and prepare yourself for what their starting XI might be, but also have ambitions to win the game yourself.
“We are in a better place after the Man City game than before. We have to show that away from home, but we have done in recent months and we will need a lot of that (on Tuesday) night because West Ham are in good form.”
Hughton also had his say on Yaya Toure’s petulant kick out against Norwich striker Ricky van Wolfswinkel during the closing stages of Saturday’s goalless draw that went unpunished by the officials although the African player-of-the-year could still face retrospective FA action.
“It did go unnoticed and there was no doubt there was a slight kick out,” said Hughton. “Whether that was enough to deem a red card, I presume the referee did not see it. There was certainly something, but whether that was enough for a red card, then that is for the referee to decide on. It was a minimal incident in the game, and the bigger factor was it was a good team performance by us.”