July 31 2014 Latest news:
Paddy Davitt, Norwich City Writer
Friday, August 16, 2013
Chris Hughton revealed on Friday summer signing Gary Hooper is ‘touch and go’ to make his Premier League bow for Norwich City against Everton this weekend after suffering a shin injury in the pre-season finale with Panathinaikos.
The Canaries’ chief confirmed at his pre-match Colney press call that Hooper had not yet been ruled out of the Toffees’ visit. The former Celtic striker was given the all-clear after hospital scans earlier this week following a heavy collision that forced him to be stretchered off against the Greeks. Hughton will delay a decision on whether to include Hooper in his match day squad, but the City boss has confirmed both Sebastien Bassong and Anthony Pilkington miss out. Dutch midfielder Leroy Fer is suspended but the club’s international contingent have returned unscathed from midweek duty.
“We had two that played a full 90 minutes, but we were fortunate that some didn’t play as many,” said Hughton. “Gary Hooper is touch and go and we plan to give him right up until the last moment. Seb is back in training and took part in the midweek development game. He came through that fine but he will just miss out (this weekend), as will Anthony Pilkington who will start training again on Monday.
“It is always a difficult week with the international games. What you are able to do and the real preparation you want to do are affected by the ones who played so many minutes for their countries. That is something we have to cope with. It is no different to Everton who were in a similar position.”
Hughton accentuated the positives from having Robert Snodgrass, Steven Whittaker and Russell Martin involved in a prestige Wembley friendly for Scotland against England.
“Firstly I thought it was a highly entertaining game. I think a lot was spoken about before the game and the atmosphere was right up there so the players probably got caught up in that,” he said. “It was a memorable game for a number of reasons. Rickie Lambert to score his first goal, everybody in the game would have been delighted to see him play because he has done so well in the recent years. I was delighted to see three Norwich players feature in such a high profile friendly. That is great experience for them and hopefully one they can take on. For me the fact they came through without any knocks was also important.”