Norwich City boss Neil Adams faces a Wigan dilemma over fit-again trio
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Norwich City's Championship downturn may force Neil Adams to fast-track Ryan Bennett, Wes Hoolahan and Vadis Ofoe back into league action.
The City boss admits he has a dilemma ahead of this weekend's league trip to Wigan with Bennett (ankle), Hoolahan (ankle) and Ofoe (knee) now in contention after recent injury lay-offs.
Adams would rather ease the trio back into the first team fold but one win in 10 league games and 11 goals conceded in the past four matches will also be factors in the manager's final planning.
'I would be lying if I didn't say I have thought about playing those lads. Everything being normal they probably wouldn't be ready,' he said.
'They would need a couple of games, but sometimes needs must and you have to try and think, 'Can we get 20 or 30 minutes out of them?' but ultimately I want these players for the rest of the season. That is the dilemma we have got but I would be more than happy to welcome those three back into the squad.'
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Central defender Bennett was poised to have an outing on the same night in the development squad's 4-2 Premier League Cup win at Fulham, but Adams erred on the side of caution.
'I was hoping he would train with us last Monday and that would have given him a full week with us but he wasn't ready to come back until Thursday, and that left three sessions,' he said. 'My concern, and that of the medical staff, was playing someone who had been out 10 or 11 weeks after just a couple of training sessions. We can't risk playing a lad who isn't ready although we are desperate to push him out there.'
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Luciano Becchio is now the only longer term senior absentee on the club's books, and Adams has downplayed fresh suggestions from Rotherham counterpart Steve Evans he could still return to the Millers to continue his injury-hit loan spell.
The Argentine had scored twice in five appearances for the Yorkshire club before breaking his heel.
'At the minute he is nowhere near playing,' said Adams. 'He has got at least another four or five weeks and we are pencilling him in for the end of December. He is not ready to play.'
Evans, however, is not ruling out a New Year return for the ex-Leeds striker.
'He is contractually with us until the first week in January,' Evans told the Yorkshire Post. 'So the agreement when he went back to Norwich for his treatment and rehabilitation - and the reason he does is the facilities and medical help they can give him - is that we have agreed to speak in the first (full) week in December, which will be next week.
'We will speak to the medical team first at Norwich to see whether he can get the green light and if they do, I can assure people he will be back.'