Norwich City midfielder Alex Tettey is back in Norway’s World Cup plans
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Alex Tettey's impressive return to Norwich City's Premier League ranks has earned him a recall to Norway's squad for upcoming World Cup qualifiers.
The powerhouse midfielder played a key role in the Canaries' weekend 1-0 win at Stoke after being restored to the starting line up. Tettey has been named in new national boss Per- Mathias Høgmo's first squad for games against Slovenia and Israel. The Norwegians need maximum points from this month's double header to maintain their play-off hopes behind runaway group leaders Switzerland. The 27-year-old's last senior international appearance came against England in a 1-0 Oslo friendly defeat in May 2012.
Tettey will be joined on World Cup international duty by Republic of Ireland duo Anthony Pilkington and Wes Hoolahan. Both midfielders were yesterday named in caretaker boss Noel King's provisional squad for games against Germany and Kazakhstan. Pilkington earned his first senior caps in last month's qualifiers against Sweden and Austria which signalled the end of Giovanni Trapattoni's tenure.
Irish Under-21 chief King has drafted Andy Reid, Darron Gibson and Anthony Stokes into his plans after the trio had fallen foul of the experienced Italian.
Nottingham Forest midfielder Reid was eventually discarded by Trapattoni after the pair clashed at the team hotel in the wake of a 2-1 World Cup qualifier victory over Georgia in September 2008. Celtic frontman Stokes was similarly ostracised when he pulled out of a Carling Nations Cup game in May 2011 citing fatigue, while Gibson's exile was self-imposed after he was left sitting on the bench for the entire Euro 2012 finals campaign in Poland, although he revealed earlier this month that he would make himself available once again after Trapattoni's exit.
Hoolahan and Pilkington will join up with the Republic squad next week after Sunday's televised Premier League home game against Chelsea.
'I spoke to a lot of the players over the past week and everyone is looking forward to coming in,' said King. 'Playing against the third-ranked team in the world is always going to be a big challenge, but it is the sort that every player wants to be a part of. It is a natural ambition to try to win every game and these two games should be no different. There are always difficulties in achieving victories, but our 10 days in camp will be spent working together with a focus on doing so. It is an honour to be working with the players and having the opportunity to manage the senior team against Germany and Kazakhstan is a huge source of pride for me and my family.'