Neil Adams reports clean bill of health for Norwich City after international break

Northern Ireland's Kyle Lafferty celebrates at the end of the game. Picture: Adam Davy / PA Wire

Northern Ireland's Kyle Lafferty celebrates at the end of the game. Picture: Adam Davy / PA Wire - Credit: PA

The international break has not added any fresh injury worries for Norwich City manager Neil Adams ahead of this weekend's trip to Cardiff City.

Nine players were away on international duty but Adams has reported a clean bill of health for Saturday's Championship clash in South Wales.

The main update was a minor setback for striker Gary Hooper in his return to full fitness, although Adams expects Hooper and midfielder Jonny Howson to both be back in full training next week.

'More or less, there's knocks and things,' Adams said of the fitness of his international players. 'You count them all out and you count them back in but yeah they're all back and they're all fine.

'One or two didn't train today but not as a result of injury, as a result of recovery as we normally do 24 or 48 hours post-game, so tomorrow hopefully we'll have them back there.

'The only one who is coming back is Jamar (Loza) who was in Canada (with Jamaica) but he should be back today.'

Defenders Russell Martin and Steven Whittaker both played the full 90 minutes of Scotland's 2-1 loss to world champions Germany, in a Euro 2016 qualifier in Dortmund on Sunday.

Most Read

Midfielder Alex Tetty came on as a 70th-minute substitute in Norway's 2-0 home qualification loss to Italy on Tuesday night, when Nathan Redmond was playing his second match in five days for the England Under-21s.

Loza played the second half of Jamaica's 3-1 friendly defeat to Canada, Josh Murphy scored for the England Under-20s in a 6-0 win against Romania in Telford on Friday night.

Wes Hoolahan played the first hour of a 2-0 friendly win against Oman in Dublin last week but was an unused substitute at the weekend, while full-back Martin Olsson played the full 90 minutes for Sweden in a 1-1 qualifying draw in Austria on Monday.

The most eye-catching performance was that of Kyle Lafferty, who set up the equaliser and then scored the winner for Northern Ireland in an impressive 2-1 Euro 2016 qualification win in Hungary on Sunday.

'It was a nightmare,' Adams said of his experience of the international break. 'Obviously my first time exposed to it, 10 players were called up, nine went away and you're trying to follow every game, trying to watch every game, trying to just see how your players have been.

'Being honest, you don't really care about the result, you're just looking at the players and seeing how they did. Some were on the pitch, some weren't, but you're just hoping that the final whistle goes and you see them walk off the pitch with a smile on their faces.

'It's a fantastic achievement for the players and for the club as well that so many were called up but as manager you want them all coming back safe and sound.'

The Canaries boss had intended to play Hooper in Friday night's Barclays Under-21s Premier League clash at Manchester City, a 7pm kick-off being played at Hyde AFC.

But the former Celtic striker will give the game a miss as a he continues his recovery from a calf injury which has ruled him out of competitive action, alongside midfielder Howson, who has missed a similar amount of time with a knee injury.

'They are very close now,' Adams added of Hooper and Howson. 'Gary would have played tomorrow night for the under-21s (but) he's just picked up a little bit of a dead leg in training.

'He's looked sharp in training, really pleased for him, and obviously we just wanted him to go up there and get 60 or 75 minutes to put himself back in for us next week, not that that will mean he won't be in for us next week, it's obviously just we don't want to risk him, he's been out five or six weeks and he's now ready to go.

'So it's a shame for him as he was looking forward to getting back involved, as we all were, but hopefully he'll be back with us next week.

'Jonny will be starting his first full week of training next week so will hopefully come into consideration for the Saturday game (at home against Birmingham), so great news that they're both nearly back with us now.'

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter