Norwich City sweating on Ivo Pinto’s fitness for Brighton Championship trip

Ivo Pinto will miss Norwich City's latest Championship game against Leeds United with a groin injury

Ivo Pinto will miss Norwich City's latest Championship game against Leeds United with a groin injury. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Ivo Pinto faces a battle to be fit for Norwich City's Championship trip to Brighton.

The key Portuguese defender pulled out of the warm up after injuring his groin prior to last weekend's 1-0 home league defeat against Preston.

Alex Neil revealed after the EFL Cup penalty exit at Leeds Russell Martin's absence from the squad was a precautionary measure with the captain set to deputise at his hometown club this weekend.

Ben Godfrey earned his first senior start at right-back in the shoot-out at Elland Road as City's medical staff continues to assess Pinto's fitness.

'Ivo is going to be a doubt but we'll have a better idea over the next couple of days,' said Neil. 'We are monitoring that as we get nearer the match. Russell didn't travel because if I did play him and he did pick up a knock then it leaves us with no right-backs.

'Ben ran himself into the ground until his legs gave up on him. He is only a young lad and it was a big occasion for him; emotionally as much as anything else. He comes from that neck of the woods, his whole family would have been there.'

Pinto himself admitted recently he is still coming to terms with the physical demands of the Championship following a series of impressive displays.

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'In the Premier League the ball is more on the ground. In the Championship when you are winning, even in the last minute, you have to defend balls into the box, to win your headers and your fights with your opponents,' he said. 'It is really physical and the intensity is crazy. All the teams have big lads but they also have power and strength.

'Although it is a second division it is still very good. You can be winning 2-1 or 2-0 in the 90th minute but you have to be focused right until the end. The first three months I came to the club were very hard but now I am enjoying it. I feel I am used to this type of game now and I just need to get better.'

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