Norwich City’s big guns Jonny Howson and Gary Hooper on the comeback trail
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Norwich City's big guns Gary Hooper and Jonny Howson make their long-awaited comebacks from injury in Friday's development test against Leicester City's Under-21s (KO 1pm).
Canaries' chief Neil Adams confirmed both will feature as over-age players against the Foxes at Colney after sitting out the early weeks of the club's impressive Championship start.
Adams knows the influential duo can play a major part in the promotion push after recovering from calf and knee injuries respectively suffered during pre-season. Summer signings Ignasi Miquel and Conor McGrandles are also poised for a run out in Norwich colours for the first time.
'It will be great to have Jon and Gary back in competitive action, and obviously Iggy with his first real taste of action in a competitive game for us so those three will start,' said Adams. 'They just need to get some minutes under their belts. We are only allowed to play three over-age players. We had to check with the FA whether Iggy is classed as under or over and for the purposes of this league he is an over-age player. Conor will play, no problem, along with Jamar Loza. Of course the Shrewsbury (cup game) is coming up and I'll look to bring one or two into the plans for that one.'
Hooper's future was the subject of intense speculation during the summer transfer window but the ex-Celtic hitman is now set to bolster a potent-looking frontline with Cameron Jerome and Lewis Grabban both in the goals.
'We've got Kyle (Lafferty) and obviously Gary to add to those two so they can all do some damage and hurt teams,' said Adams. 'Lafferty hasn't scored yet but he has added to the team and Hooper is just coming back and they all know what is required to get in the team. You look at Cameron's impact and he is showing why I signed him. I go back to the philosophies and strategies we had with players. You don't just sign a player to score you goals, you want them to do that and offer other things that fit in with the team.
'You talk about tempo and pressing and we need more than just a goalscorer so with him and Lewis you've seen the goals are in the locker but they also have the high work rate and desire. It could come down to goals scored and we have targets for that but one of the pleasing aspect is our goals against column. We look okay at both ends of the pitch but we realise its the attacking end that sends the fans home happy.'