Norwich City boss Alex Neil weighs up whether to unleash Jonny Howson and Ivo Pinto against Brentford
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Alex Neil admits the injury returns of Jonny Howson and Ivo Pinto are a major boost ahead of Norwich City's Championship test against Brentford on Saturday.
Both have trained this week after lengthy lay-offs during a spell when Norwich have lost five league games on the spin. Howson underwent ankle surgery to remove a piece of floating bone while Pinto has not featured since being withdrawn from the line up for the home defeat against Preston with a groin problem in the warm up.
Neil must now decide whether to fast-track both into his plans against the Bees at Carrow Road.
'It is good news that Jonny has been training with us all week,' said Neil. 'I am pleased to have him back in contention. Is it too soon for this weekend? Well, we have looked at him all week. I think it would be probably a tall order to play 90 minutes but he certainly comes into contention. It is a huge boost. Ivo Pinto has joined in this week as well and if you look at the results when they are both in the team our points tally is considerably better than it has been. It is not solely down to those two boys not playing but it is a consideration.
'Ivo is in the same boat as John for this weekend. The only thing I would say is Ivo has been out longer than John in terms of his injury so that plays a little part. It is nice to have some of the boys back. What you want is to pick from a full squad and have all the tools you can.'
Alex Tettey (hip) and Cameron Jerome (back) are doubts for this weekend after being substituted at Derby County. Louis Thompson (pelvis) is still on the sidelines while Matt Jarvis will target a return from summer knee surgery in next week's EFL Trophy test against Swansea City's Under-21s.
'Cameron has been a concern for the last couple of weeks. I wouldn't rule him out, but we're still having to do a bit of work on it. Alex felt his hip lock, which he had earlier in the season. That returned and he had to come off, and he's a doubt as well,' said Neil. 'Matt's been training but he's been out for 28 weeks. We're more looking at Tuesday, there's a game then and he'll be looking to get involved in that.'
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Martin Olsson, fresh from signing a new contract earlier this week, and Graham Dorrans return from suspension after missing last weekend's 1-0 defeat at Derby County.