Chris Hughton will take no risks with injured Norwich City stars

Norwich City boss Chris Hughton hopes Steven Whittaker has put his injury-hit debut season at Carrow

Norwich City boss Chris Hughton hopes Steven Whittaker has put his injury-hit debut season at Carrow Road behind him. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Chris Hughton insists his safety first policy with the fitness of Robert Snodgrass and Gary Hooper was the right call.

Norwich's manager opted not to risk Snodgrass against the Toffees after a pre-match fitness test on a groin problem while Hooper's shin injury suffered in the Panathinaikos pre-season finale also ruled him out of a Premier League debut.

'Gary wasn't as close as we would have liked,' said Hughton. 'The good thing is that we feared the worst originally because he was in a fair amount of pain and we got the good news that it wasn't anything serious but he has taken a fair whack on it. There was no serious damage, but now it's just how quickly he can put a little bit of weight on it and the pain goes away. We'll look to push him and hopefully he will be in contention for Hull.

'With Robert we had a fairly big decision to make before this game. He finished the (Scotland) match on Wednesday and didn't feel it at all on the Thursday, but came in on Friday morning and said he had a bit of pain. He did a fitness test before the game and if we had played him he might have been fine but the fact it was a groin you never know. Hopefully now by taking this precaution it will just be a few days when it might have ended up a few weeks.'

Hughton was without both Steven Whittaker and John Ruddy for large swathes of last season through injury but the duo were pivotal to Norwich's opening day draw. 'I was pleased for Steven because he had a difficult time when he first came here and now he starts on a level footing,' said Hughton. 'In some ways the goal he scored was a little bit similar to the one at Swansea. He is a good striker of the ball and it was an excellent finish to show that composure when it hit the post to then slot from a tight angle.

'John is a good goalkeeper and that was an important save for us at the end. You look at the two goals he conceded and I don't think he had any chance with either. I've seen the (Ross) Barkley goal back since the end of the game and he had no chance with that. I'm really pleased for John because after his injury that was a difficult period for him but he is back in good form and also back in the England squad, which we are very proud of here and I'm sure there are many big performances to come from him this season.'

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