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Team news: Ryan Bennett ruled out of Norwich City’s clash with Cardiff but Steven Whittaker will be available

Steven Whittaker of Norwich and Marc Pugh of Bournemouth in action during the match at the Goldsands Stadium, Bournemouth
. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Steven Whittaker of Norwich and Marc Pugh of Bournemouth in action during the match at the Goldsands Stadium, Bournemouth . Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

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Norwich City centre-back Ryan Bennett is facing two weeks on the sidelines after picking up a hamstring injury in his side’s 2-1 win at Bournemouth last weekend.

Bennett was initially introduced from the substitutes bench in the 60th minute as right-back Steven Whittaker was struggling with illness.

Russell Martin was switched to right-back following that change but Bennett then pulled up with a hamstring injury and had to be replaced seven minutes later.

That saw midfielder Gary O’Neil brought on in his place, with Martin switching back to the centre of defence and Alex Tettey asked to cover at full-back.

Tettey is now a doubt for the Bluebirds’ visit with a groin injury and City manager Alex Neil revealed at Colney on Friday afternoon the Norwegian international had not trained with the rest of the squad this week.

“It is touch and go at the moment,” he said. “He has not done a great deal this week in terms of training with the lads but he has been working with the strength and conditioning guys. He is certainly someone who I will leave until the last minute.”

Carlos Cuellar is back in training after his calf injury and available for selection. Vadis Ofoe and Sebastien Bassong will not be considered this weekend and Elliott Benentt (hamstring) is also ruled out.

Neil did confirm Steven Whittaker has recovered from the sickness that saw him replaced by Ryan Bennett at Bournemouth before the central defender was forced off after eight minutes.

“He’s been better. He missed training on Monday but he joined in the next two days, so Steven will be fine for tomorrow,” Neil told Norwich City TV.

“Ryan’s got a grade one tear on his hamstring, so you’re probably talking maybe two weeks.”

Neil will also be without midfielder Jonny Howson, who was sent off in the second half of the victory at Bournemouth. City had appealed against the decision but that appeal failed and the 26-year-old is now set to miss three games through suspension.

“We made an appeal against Howson’s red card, but unfortunately for us it got rejected,” Neil added. “Jonny’s a big player for the club as well, so that’s a bit of a blow but we’ve got guys who can come in and fill in.”

What do you think the Norwich City starting XI should be against Cardiff? Click here to pick your team.

The Scottish manager, who joined the Canaries from Scottish Premiership side Hamilton ahead of the win at Bournemouth, has had his first full week of training with his new squad this week.

And the 33-year-old has been pleased with the progress made at Colney in preparation for the visit of the Bluebirds.

“It’s just been about letting the lads know what their tasks are when they’ve got the ball and when they’ve not got the ball, how we want to go about our business in terms of the actual game itself and looking at the strengths and weaknesses of the opposition,” Neil continued.

“It’s basic stuff, but stuff that if you do properly, can have a real impact on matches.

“I think the lads are getting used to me as well. It’s worked well this week and hopefully that will mean we get a good result on Saturday.

“I’m really looking forward to it. I’m hoping the fans can get behind the team and hopefully we can give them a good performance.”

Cardiff will arrive in Norfolk in 11th place in the Championship table, six points behind City, who are just a point outside off the play-offs in seventh place.

Russell Slade’s team are likely to arrive in good spirits as well, having ended a run of matches without a win by beating Colchester at home in the FA Cup third round and then winning 1-0 at home against Fulham last Saturday.

The Welsh club have won just one league game away from home so far this season but Neil expects a stern test from one of the team’s they were relegated from the Premier League alongside.

“It will be a difficult match. They’re in a similar position to ourselves in that they’ve come down from the Premier League,” the Norwich boss added.

“They are very direct in their play, so we’re going to have to make sure we compete and do the dirty side of the game, because if we can control the ball, with the quality we have then I’m hoping we can be a force to be reckoned with going forward.

“If we can play at our full potential, then we’ve got a good chance of picking up a victory.”

What do you think the Norwich City starting XI should be against Cardiff? Click here to pick your team.

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22 comments

  • no, johnty. not good whittaker's back. in fact, not good his front and sides are either. guy tries hard, but he is our Achilles heel.

    Report this comment

    Erpingham Tractor

    Friday, January 16, 2015

  • Hi MB Glad to see you back. This old chap had been diagnosed with the big C in the Pancreas, I would like to see us return to the Premier before leaving. I am impressed with the selection of the new manager, lets hope he inspires our team to get us up there.

    Report this comment

    Adelaide Canary

    Friday, January 16, 2015

  • Brewer...You're back! Dubya has sure missed your acerbic comments as have we all. 3 big ones tomorrow will be a good welcome back pressie for you!! Think Bassong will play next week v Brentford.

    Report this comment

    Bogaz John

    Friday, January 16, 2015

  • Yes good Whittaker is ok but why no Bassong? Nothing is ruled out here still think Phelan has a better take on selection so lets see ...the bench is important in this situation of course.

    Report this comment

    johnty

    Friday, January 16, 2015

  • Just reading Alex Neil this week. How about this? 4-4-1-1, Martin, Turner, Miguel, Olson...Redmond, O´Neil, Johnson, Murphy...Hooper....Cam Jam. Your views?

    Report this comment

    spanishcanary

    Friday, January 16, 2015

  • Hi Mr Ed, given all the chat this week from AN, how do you think it will change or will he still be looking at staff on the front line to see how they put his plans into action. one week is not much time, hope all will be tolerant this week. Still would love a win.

    Report this comment

    spanishcanary

    Friday, January 16, 2015

  • Agreed it's good to see MB back and in fine fettle. Team selection tomorrow should be interesting and would love to hear both the Jarrold and the N&P singing - NOW, that would be a truly unique occurrence!!! I'll be there tomorrow, so will report back.

    Report this comment

    Mr Ed

    Friday, January 16, 2015

  • Hi Brew, Benidorm is an acquired taste, not mine. I would take Stalhamgrad any day, oh if only it had sun. Spent many an hour there, only 4 miles from my childhood home in Ludham.

    Report this comment

    spanishcanary

    Friday, January 16, 2015

  • The club has matching injured Bennetts , both ruled out for weekend play ; Who now must heed the physio's tenets , and yet may play another day . There's a sonnet in there somewhere , if anyone can find an unstrained rhyme for Odidja-Ofoe . Can anyone explain why professional footballers seem to be as delicate as thoroughbred racehorses ? It's counter-intuitive , you dont see this sort of casualty rate in the Parks teams , yet their games are often as physical and yet their fitness levels are much less , as athletic specimens , the average weekend clogger is necessarily less honed . Curious .

    Report this comment

    Bring on Foggo

    Friday, January 16, 2015

  • will all this optimism get the Jarrold Stand singing tomorrow?

    Report this comment

    malmocanary

    Friday, January 16, 2015

  • Ola and thankyou, spanishcanary. I`m quite touched. A lot of peoplewould agree with that... Reminds me, must watch Benidorm tonight. It helps me believe that Stalhamgrad.. is not so bad!.. Occidental rhyming couplets now!!

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Friday, January 16, 2015

  • NMTD - What`s an iPhone? What`s a SvvankydiIdo?? Is Wiv swigging from Dubya`s Pollyanna Potion Pot? I`d love us to get a 4-0 win, but I`d happily settle for 3 points whichever way. Nice to talk to you too, norfolkngood! ;-)

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Friday, January 16, 2015

  • Hoping for a good game tomorrow, hope all you guys enjoy the game. Hopefully it will be online somewhere? Pleased to see Mr Brewer back, I don´t log on much but enjoy your quips and diverse look at NCFC most days. Please don´t go walkabouts again without leaving a forwarding address, kind regards from Spain.

    Report this comment

    spanishcanary

    Friday, January 16, 2015

  • Goldie, RB has been a big disappointment so far at NCFC. He came in with a lot of promise and there was real hope that he could establish himself as a really solid first-choice player. However, he has never really had a rich run of form and has been injured as often as he is fit. Not sure that he is going to make it with NCFC now. I'd give him until the end of the season to establish himself as a first team regular. Failing that, I don't think he has a future here. Last chance saloon for Ryan now I'd say - come good, or else goodbye !

    Report this comment

    Dubai Canary

    Friday, January 16, 2015

  • Ryan Bennett has the ability to become a really good defender but and it is a big but he seems unable to stay clear of injuries for more than a couple of games at a time. City need to replace him IMO.

    Report this comment

    goldie

    Friday, January 16, 2015

  • wivenhoebudgie - I like it, I suspect that this scenario would probably give Vincent the Blues - lets hope so !

    Report this comment

    Dubai Canary

    Friday, January 16, 2015

  • Team will raise their game and the fans will raise the roof. That will do for starters. The rest is up to fortune and the ref

    Report this comment

    Regulador

    Friday, January 16, 2015

  • The Brew is back. Welcome!

    Report this comment

    norfolkngood

    Friday, January 16, 2015

  • Cardiff to play in their away kit of RED.? A Tan gesture to his long suffering fans .City to win 4-0 with one goal scored by a defender from a corner !

    Report this comment

    wivenhoebudgie

    Friday, January 16, 2015

  • appisodes have a meaning Brew ............. TV show episodes or video clips available for viewing on the iPhone. Sounds all sw4nky dillo to me

    Report this comment

    nevermindthedanger

    Friday, January 16, 2015

  • ... episode! Apisode looks like a chapter from a book about bees...

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Friday, January 16, 2015

  • I begin to be concerned about Ryan`s injury proneness. A bit harsh on Howson, I thought. Seen far worse go without even a yellow card. Helps if you play for "the likes of" Chelsea, of course... Looks like New Sir Alex might have to play Cafu at CB. Cuellar not mentioned here. Where`s Hooliveld?? Is Miquel ever going to play (other than out of position at LB)? Is Big Bass ready for the fray? All will be revealed in the next exciting apisode...

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Friday, January 16, 2015

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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