Norwich City strike pair van Wolfswinkel and Elmander face fitness battle for Cardiff City

Gary Hooper made his full Premier League debut at Arsenal in the absence of injured strike duo Ricky van Wolfswinkel and...

Gary Hooper made his full Premier League debut at Arsenal in the absence of injured strike duo Ricky van Wolfswinkel and Johan Elmander. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Ricky van Wolfswinkel and Johan Elmander are targeting a return for what Chris Hughton concedes is now a huge Premier League test against Cardiff City.

The Canaries' chief is looking to get back to winning ways after defeats to Chelsea and Arsenal kept Norwich in the lower reaches. Both Elmander (thigh) and van Wolfswinkel (foot) were absent at the Emirates, but Hughton wants them in his plans for the Bluebirds' Carrow Road visit.

'We're hoping Elmander will be back for this week. It is not a major injury but it just kept him out of this one,' said Hughton. 'Ricky, we'll see. He was one we we're hopeful on for this game.

'It is a foot injury which is not bad and he played through it in the last game. We will work on getting him ready for the next one. He had rested it for a period of time and we were hoping he would be close, but it wasn't to be.

'Cardiff is huge because we are on the back of two defeats. It is a home game and we have to make sure we pull out all of the positives of the last two matches. The only ones that can change that are myself and the players. I think there's always concern because you want to be winning, but we are coming off the back of defeats against two top teams.'

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Hughton's squad will go into the Cardiff game in the bottom three.

'It is not a nice feeling to be in the bottom three but we were in a similar position last season and we have more points at this stage,' he said. 'Of course we have to win matches and none of us are good losers. We have to analyse this match again, pick the positives out and alleviate the negatives.'

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• Hughton may opt to give some of his fringe first team players an outing in the development squad's latest league game on Monday at Colney against Middlesbrough's Under-21s (2pm). Norwich beat Leicester's under-21s in their last home match.

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