, EDP Sports Writer
Monday, December 10, 2012
Norwich City’s international duo Wes Hoolahan and Steven Whittaker are fresh injury doubts ahead of the club’s Capital One Cup quarter-final home tie against Aston Villa on Tuesday night.
Canaries’ chief Chris Hughton revealed at Colney on Monday afternoon both picked up injuries in the hard-fought Premier League 4-3 weekend win at Swansea. City’s medical staff will continue to monitor both Hoolahan (groin) and Whittaker (hip), with Hughton set to make a final decision tomorrow morning.
Alex Tettey (groin) and Ryan Bennett (knock) are definitely ruled out after missing the win at the Liberty Stadium, but centre-back Michael Turner is back in contention after a recent shoulder injury as City bid to edge past Paul Lambert’s side to book a place in the last four.
“We have a few knocks, a few doubts from the weekend,” said Hughton. “Steven Whittaker had to be brought off so we will assess how he is in the morning, and Wes, we’ll make a decision on as well. Apart from that we are not too bad. Wes has done his groin, so we’ll see, but it is certainly not bad. We have to make sure with all these little knocks we don’t push them at the wrong moment. Potentially something that could be a week can end up a few weeks. Steven has a hip problem. It was something he felt after the last game. He missed a couple of days training, but was fine for Swansea and then felt it in that last part of the game.
“Michael trained today and will be in the squad. Whether he has done enough to use him as part of the squad is another decision we have to make, but it is good to have him round and about the group again.”
City have had trips to Liverpool, Southampton and Swansea over the past fortnight, but Hughton is not concerned by the fatigue factor on a largely settled starting line up.
“At the moment fatigue is not an issue but part of my responsibility is managing it the best way possible and what we do have is a lot of lads that are playing regular,” he said. “It is a balance but fortunately for us we have a group of lads who want to play every game.”
Hughton also confirmed he had sanctioned a loan extension for midfielder Jacob Butterfield who will remain at Chamnpionship club Bolton until Janaury 5. The City boss believes the Canaries will reap the benefits of an extension after an injury-hit start to the 22-year-old’s Norwich career left him struggling to force his way into Hughton’s Premier League plans.
“The thinking behind that one was the opportunity for him to get games,” said Hughton.
“Because the first 28 days of the original loan have now come and gone it means we have a 24 hour recall on him so certainly at any stage if I felt we needed to bring him back I would do.”
Butterfield has so far featured in four games for the Whites, but was on the losing side for the first time at the weekend when Dougie Freedman’s squad lost 2-1 at home to Ipswich.