Norwich City midfielder Youssouf Mulumbu to miss out on WBA reunion
- Credit: JASON DAWSON/JASONPIX
Fit-again Norwich City midfielder Youssouf Mulumbu will not get the chance for a West Brom reunion in the Premier League this weekend after Alex Neil confirmed he is not planning to fast-track the midfielder back into his senior plans.
Neil travelled to Leicester in midweek to watch Mulumbu's return from foot surgery in a 60-minute development outing but the Scot feels the Baggies' visit comes too soon to complete his rehabilitation.
The City boss, however, confirmed at Colney on Friday he has no fresh injury concerns from last weekend's 6-2 loss at Newcastle.
'Looking at Youssouf, I went and watched the game at Leicester, and he has been out for the best part of 10 weeks and that was his first 60 minutes at a level that isn't going to be comparable to what is coming,' said Neil. 'It would be a little unfair to throw him straight back in. We gave Andre (Wisdom) and Vadis (Ofoe) some game-time in that match and I thought that was important with the games coming up. We have this important game at the weekend and then a cup game on Tuesday so we have to make sure we use the squad. I think we should be fine injury-wise from last weekend.
'Lewis (Grabban) only trained one day before the Newcastle game, his ankle was still painful, and Gary (Hooper) trained three days but with the other strikers completing all the training sessions and are fully-fit I thought it was unfair to put them two in.'
Neil has drilled his squad on their defensive responsibilities this week following that heavy league defeat on Tyneside.
'We focused on the negatives when we looked back at the game,' he said. 'We know what we are good at, that is keeping the ball, we create chances, we go forward well and we have scored a lot of goals this season. So that doesn't need attention, to be honest. I think the other side is what needed attention and that is what we have focused on more this week.
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'I don't think anybody enjoys that. It is the heaviest defeat I have experienced as a manager so you have to stick your chest out and make sure in the next game you go and perform a lot better and hopefully go and win.'