Norwich City set to go Dutch against San Jose Earthquakes
- Credit: Archant
Chris Hughton is ready to unleash his exciting Dutch duo on San Jose Earthquakes in Norwich's second USA tour match scheduled to kick off in the early hours of Sunday morning (3:30am BST).
The City chief opted to keep both Ricky van Wolfswinkel and Leroy Fer in reserve for the 3-0 cruise over Mexicans Dorados de Sinaloa in Sacramento.
Both had to content themselves with a gentle half-time work-out at Raley Field after only linking up with their new team mates last weekend following big money summer moves to England. Hughton expects San Jose to present a stiffer test than the Mexican Second Division side as City gear up for the first of two tussles against MLS opponents.
The Canaries make the short trip from their San Jose training base to Buck Shaw stadium, before completing their West Coast tour with a tough looking final friendly against Portland Timbers.
Hughton admitted he was tempted to run the rule over the majority of his 25-man squad on opening night but felt giving some of his international contingent a few extra days to prepare was the best policy ahead of the all-important Premier League curtain-raiser against Everton on August 17. 'I think ideally we had looked to give everybody 45 minutes but that wasn't possible this time around so some of the lads had to play the whole game the other night,' he said. 'That was always in my mind. The two new Dutch lads came back a little later over the summer after being away with their countries and it was the same scenario with Wes (Hoolahan). All three of them will be involved at the weekend.'
FA Youth Cup winner Josh Murphy proved the main beneficiary after Hughton opted not to include some of his main creative options. The midfielder rifled a sublime third into the top corner to complete the rout against the Mexicans after a late call-up to the touring party.
'Yes, it was a late shout to bring him out here. We had some other choices but he will certainly enjoy the experience,' said Hughton. 'We decided to put Josh in that role off the front where Jacob (Butterfield) had started the game because he has played that role a little bit more and it was some goal. It was real good quality and I was really pleased for him. I still think he is one who has more development in him. Is he one who I think is ready at this moment? No, probably not but you just never know. He is a young lad and it will certainly benefit him being here.'
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Hughton's flurry of half-time substitutions injected a greater urgency into City's attacking output but the Norwich boss was more concerned with the fitness boost from a testing work-out until the Canaries cut loose late on.
'It's nice to win of course but the most important thing was to come through without any injuries,' he said. 'Overall it was a really good run out for us. In some ways it was a typical first pre-season game. We took our time to get going. They showed some really good touches in that first period I thought and we had to defend well. They were very good in possession in that final third. Sometimes these types of games it is all about the first goal and you could see it opened up then. That is exactly how it panned out. I thought we were able to introduce some players that made us a bit stronger overall and we were able to capitalise on that.
'The changes we made at half-time were decided in advance. But whatever team I had picked to start that first half I'm not sure it would have altered the flow of the game.'
• Log on to pinkun.com for live interactive coverage of City's game against San Jose from 3:15am (BST) on Sunday morning.