Lewis Grabban is not in Alex Neil’s Norwich City plans for Bournemouth test
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Alex Neil has confirmed Lewis Grabban will not be brought back in from the cold for Norwich City's Premier League home test against old club Bournemouth on Saturday.
Grabban issued a public apology on Thursday night following the fallout from his disappearing act in the recent League Cup tie at Rotherham, amid intense transfer interest from the Cherries.
The 27-year-old was suspended for a fortnight and fined for his actions, and Neil made it clear on Friday morning at Colney Grabban is not part of his plans for this weekend's league resumption against Eddie Howe's side.
'The bottom line is Lewis broke the rules, he was punished and he accepts he has done wrong and paid the consequences,' said Neil. 'At the moment he is training to get his fitness back up, obviously he missed a couple of weeks training from being suspended. He wasn't at the club or training with any of the boys during that period.
'He recognises he has done wrong so he must pay his dues until he works his way back into the squad. As far as I am concerned, the matter is pretty much done. He won't be in contention this weekend.'
New signings Dieurmerci Mbokani and Matt Jarvis are in the squad for the Cherries' visit.
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'He (Mbokani) is probably a little bit short in terms of match fitness,' he said. 'He didn't really feature for Kiev during their pre-season so in terms of starting he would be a little bit short but he is in contention for the squad. He has looked good in training. He is big, strong and offers us something we didn't already have. I am hoping he will be a useful addition.
'With Matt, I just think we needed a bit more pace and creativity on the flanks. We have Nathan (Redmond) on one side and Robbie (Brady) can do that as well so we wanted a bit more competition to give us that pace to get us up the pitch and a good outlet. He certainly brings that. Matt will come into contention. He has trained with the squad this week.'
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Martin Olsson and free-scoring striker Kyle Lafferty have returned from international duty unscathed following lengthy injury absences.
'Martin hadn't really done a great deal up until going away so there were a few concerns for him playing so many minutes but he has come back in good shape, no niggles,' said Neil. 'The same with Kyle Lafferty. The fact they both got games is good.
'Kyle has been injured, that is why he was not involved. He had only just recovered so his games for Northern Ireland came a bit quick for him. Kyle is the same as every other player, he trains with the first team squad so he is in contention the same as everybody else.'
Gary Hooper is a doubt for this weekend after tweaking his ankle in training but Neil delivered a positive progress report on Youssouf Mulumbu, who required early season foot surgery.
'He is making good progress,' said Neil. 'His injury is pretty much healed now so its a case of stepping up with his rehab. He has been doing quite a bit, but I would probably say he is another four to six weeks from playing, and that includes all his fitness work.'