Chris Hughton insists James Vaughan will get his Norwich City chance
Chris Hughton confirmed yesterday James Vaughan may be out of sight, but he is not out of mind after watching the Huddersfield loan striker on Championship duty at Peterborough earlier this week.
The Norwich manager was an interested spectator at London Road as Vaughan's Terriers crashed to a surprise 3-1 defeat to the strugglers.
The 24-year-old was quoted recently stating he would be prepared to consider a permanent stay in Yorkshire after Hughton had sanctioned a season-long loan deal, but the City boss insists his long term plan remains unchanged.
'Yes I did go to watch him. I looked at him the other night because he is our player,' he said. 'What we have done very well, not just with James, but all the lads out on loan is we have our coaching staff and our football staff and they have all had the opportunity to go and see them play and will continue doing that in their loan periods.
'Our objective with James was very much because of the period of time he missed through injury over his career – and he has missed an awful lot of football - we felt he needed a regular run of games and the opportunity to assess him over the course of the season and then to come back to us a better player.'
Hughton expects central defender Elliott Ward to eventually join City's loan contingent with the New Year window fast approaching.
Ward was omitted from Hughton's 25-man Premier League squad for the first half of the season, before a reported loan switch to Bristol City was shelved. Hughton expects the experienced defender to still be a man in demand.
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'At the moment there is always talk,' he said. 'I am quite sure something will happen as we enter that period where clubs will pick up injuries or clubs keen to improve and make sure they have a good period right up until the window and then clubs will make big decisions when it is open.'
Hughton has no fresh injury concerns ahead of the weekend's Premier League trip to Aston Villa. Back-up keeper Mark Bunn is targeting a return from a 'slight' knock in next week's Capital One Cup tie against Tottenham.
Steven Whittaker emerged unscathed from a 90-minute development outing at Reading on Monday, but will not be considered for duty at Villa Park.
'At this moment he would probably differ from what I am saying because he has done a fair chunk of training and he has looked very good but he missed a lot of pre-season,' he said.
'As regards him being fit, yes he is, but he probably needs one more development game under his belt.'
Spurs loan striker Harry Kane is also making good progress after his foot surgery.
Hughton added: 'We've been in contact with Tottenham and the lad himself and the course of action now is he will spent a period of time doing his rehab at Tottenham and then he will come back and continue here which will take him into football work. We're talking this side of Christmas.'