December 4 2013 Latest news:
Saturday, January 5, 2013
Striker Simeon Jackson will be hoping for a rare place in the Norwich City starting line-up for today’s FA Cup tie at Peterborough – but may not get it if manager Chris Hughton persists in playing one man up front.
Jackson has not started a first team game since the 5-2 home defeat by Liverpool on September 29 and his six appearances as substitute since then have amounted to a mere 71 minutes of action and one goal, the winner against Tottenham in the Capital One Cup.
With Grant Holt and Steve Morison sidelined by injury and Hughton promising changes for this afternoon’s third round match at London Road, it might appear that the Canadian is overdue for a recall. But Hughton, who also has on-loan Harry Kane available against Posh, said it was tough going for Jackson to play the lone striker role.
“It’s difficult. I think it revolves a little bit around Wes Hoolahan,” he said. “I had made up my mind Wes was going to play at West Ham. I am not saying it can’t work but certainly against West Ham, who are a big, physical side and good on set pieces, it would have been difficult to play both of them.
“I think Simeon can do it but perhaps he needs a little bit more support around him. I do think that Simeon is better used in a two in some way – which means either a two up top or somebody playing a little bit closer to him. You can use somebody who can play up top alongside or a little bit deeper. You can get more out of Simeon with someone nearer him.”
Hughton admitted he had thought of playing joint top scorer Anthony Pilkington in a more central role.
“I have considered it - even in some of my thoughts last weekend,” he said. “He is also a player who gives us a quality in a wide area and has scored his goals coming in off the flank. But it is a position I think he could play.”
With City linked with numerous strikers as potential January transfer targets, including Craig Mackail-Smith, Danny Graham, Gary Hooper, Glenn Murray and Zambian forward Jacob Mulenga, Hughton insisted anyone he brought in would have to be better than his existing crop.
“For us it is about doing the work to determine where we feel we need to strengthen the squad and what the options are,” he said.
“I think because we have had Holty out for some games and now Stevie, that highlights that area a little bit more but you have to be conscious of bringing in someone who is better than we already have here. We do have players like Simeon, who hasn’t played as much as he would have liked to, and young Harry, who started at West Ham. Any player we think about bringing in has to be able to improve us.”
Whoever play sin attack against Posh, Hughton anticipates a difficult afternoon. He was, coincidentally, watching them play Blackpool at London Road on the day before the third round draw.
He said: “They are a good side. I have managed to see them on two or three occasions so I know them very well.
“Not only have they had some good form but they have beaten some big teams of late. That makes it an even tougher task.
“I know the club quite well. I know the manager and, of course, Barry Fry is someone I have known for a number of years. They have brought in some very, very good players, generally the lower leagues and the Conference. They do extremely well within their budget in a very strong Championship.”