Chris Hughton welcomes Norwich City keeper selection poser for Premier League run-in
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Chris Hughton welcomes a looming selection dilemma over who will be Norwich's number one keeper for the Premier League run-in.
England international John Ruddy was omitted from City's matchday squad against Reading following two full development outings after five months out following thigh surgery.
Mark Bunn remained the man in possession, with Lee Camp again on the bench, but Hughton insists the vitality of the club's keeping stocks is a healthy situation.
'John's played two games now and I also have to be conscious of what Mark Bunn has done and Mark has been excellent for us,' he said. 'It's very difficult for John, he's been out for a period of time. He's done everything he can in training and they are the decisions I have to make. He's back in training now and we'll see how he goes this week and we'll assess it this week. His recovery is fine. We have no problems with the injury. 'He will be fine with the injury. It's just that he has been out for a long time and when a player has been out for a long time, it takes a little while to get into your rhythm. For a goalkeeper it's a little bit different.'
Ryan Bennett has also had to bide his time behind the dominant pairing of Sebastien Bassong and Michael Turner, but Hughton praised the England U21 international's goalscoring return to the first team ranks after Turner's early substitution with a suspected groin injury.
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'We certainly would have liked Michael to stay on. I'm not quite sure how bad it is. He's just felt his groin and we're hoping it will be slight, but it was a testament to Ryan,' said Hughton. 'He trains hard and has looked very good in training, I have to say, and probably if I look at the games he played earlier in the season, he did well.
'What's kept him out of the side has been the consistency of Michael and Seb. So when somebody comes in who hasn't played for a while, I think you want him to be up to speed and he couldn't have done any better than he did. I thought he was excellent.'
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Scottish international Steven Whittaker was left out of the squad as a precautionary measure, but Hughton is confident he will be back in the mix for Stoke.
'He just slightly felt his knee,' he said. 'Probably if it was one where I had to play him, I could have taken a risk with him, but it was the right decision in the end and I hope he'll be fit for Saturday.'