Norwich City striker Gary Hooper is fighting fit for Ipswich Championship derby clash
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Norwich City striker Gary Hooper has been passed fit after his viral infection to face Championship derby rivals Ipswich in Sunday's Carrow Road clash.
Hooper did not travel for the midweek 2-1 league win at Blackburn but Alex Neil confirmed at Colney on Thursday afternoon the striker is now back in the fold.
Neil has no fresh injury concerns following that comeback Ewood Park win but the likes of Gary O'Neil (toe) and Elliott Bennett (hamstring) will miss out again. Central defender Ryan Bennett will also not be considered after just returning to full training following a hamstring injury.
'The squad is looking fine; fully recovered from Tuesday and no fresh problems going into Sunday,' said Neil. 'Gary should be fine. That wasn't an injury, it was a bug and he needed a couple of days to recover but he has trained no problem this morning (Thursday) and he'll be in contention for Sunday. I think everyone who was available for Blackburn still is and those who weren't are still trying to get themselves back.
'Ryan has joined in training again today but he won't be ready. Elliott is still a bit of a concern. He won't be available. We know what the situation is with Elliott. It is just an on-going process between a grade one and grade two in his hamstring so the amount of time he has been out so far was to be expected.'
Neil is not downplaying the significance of Ipswich's visit with City capable of overhauling Mick McCarthy's side, who are one point ahead.
'It's the biggest local derby in quite a while because of the significance of the game and the fact that if we win, we can go above them,' he said. 'I'm sure they'll be approaching it in the same manner, so we've got to make sure we're right up for it, and we'll be fully prepared for the match.
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'I was brought up in Glasgow, where derbies are of course a big thing. I'm fully aware of what a derby means and we'll be ready to go, and I'm really looking forward to it. If it's a derby and you're a fan, you don't want to know how well your team played, you want to know whether you won or not. That's the most important thing - however, I'm a big believer in that if your performances are good enough over the course of the game, then you'll get what you deserve.'