Alex Tettey provides the perfect tonic to Norwich City boss Chris Hughton

Norwich City midfielder Alex Tettey has been a big miss for the Canaries. Picture by Paul Chesterton

Norwich City midfielder Alex Tettey has been a big miss for the Canaries. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Alex Tettey's return to the fray could not be better timed for Chris Hughton.

The Norwegian international's promising season was halted by ankle surgery following a challenge from Cardiff's Fraizer Campbell in the corresponding fixture at Carrow Road. Bradley Johnson's successful appeal against his red card in the midweek draw against Newcastle helps further offset the continued absence of Jonny Howson.

'Jonny was arguably playing as well anyone else in the team, but the good thing is Alex is right back in the frame now,' said Hughton. 'He has been a big miss because he is a big player, whether starting or from the bench. Even from the bench he gives us a good option to change things. Jonny was playing ever so well but it is almost as important what you do from the bench during games, and for a period we had two central midfield players and that limits the options. These are situations we have had to cope with. We have Jonny out for a period of time, but Alex is back now and David Fox is with us so that does give us a little bit more cover in that position.'

Hughton insists City's on-going injury problems have not helped the search for consistency in both results and performance.

'The facts don't lie. We haven't been good enough at times and that is the quality and the unpredictability of the league but we know we need to win more football matches,' he said. 'With the way this league is you can jump two or three places with a victory, but we know if you don't get the results you can just as easily drop because it is so tight.'

• An injury-time penalty from Jacob Murphy earned City's Under-21s a 2-2 draw against Arsenal at Carrow Road on Friday night. Rod Young had given the Canaries an early lead before Austin Lipman levelled on 21 minutes and Brandon Ormonde-Ottewill put the visitors ahead early in the second period, but in stoppage time, Semi Ajayi was adjudged to have pushed Young when trying to shepherd the ball out of play and Murphy sent the resulting spot-kick past Macey to keep the Canaries above Arsenal in the current Premier League development standings.