Norwich City team news: Steven Naismith ruled out for Wigan test; Youssouf Mulumbu back in the mix
PUBLISHED: 14:42 06 February 2017 | UPDATED: 14:58 06 February 2017
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Steven Naismith is set to miss out again for Norwich City as they look to keep the pressure on the top six in Tuesday’s Championship trip to Wigan.
The Scottish international was on the sidelines for the weekend 1-0 win at Cardiff City and is still struggling with a hamstring injury. Alex Tettey starts the first of a two-match ban for reaching 10 bookings but Alex Neil confirmed at Colney on Monday morning Yousssouf Mulumbu is back in the mix after returning from African Cup of Nations duty with a thigh problem.
“Of course missing Alex is a big loss,” said Neil, who is also without longer term injured central midfield duo Louis Thompson and Graham Dorrans. “He has played in virtually every game. Normally you have constants in the spine of your team and Alex is in that category. Similar to Jonny Howson, Ivo Pinto. Guys who play all the time in the main when they are available. Other lads will get an opportunity now and when some of them have come in they have performed really well. We have adequate replacements. Youssouf is available. He has not done a great deal but we are hoping he is going to be okay.
“Steven is still struggling with the hamstring injury. We are not sure how long he will be out at this stage. He was touch and go for the weekend. We tried to get him up to speed for Wigan and it hasn’t really happened. That is disappointing. We will take it day by day.”
Neil revealed James Maddison is nursing a back problem but Matt Jarvis has been added to the travelling party, after originally being earmarked for a development outing against Aston Villa on Monday night. Neil also hinted Wes Hoolahan may get a rest at the DW Stadium ahead of another gruelling away test.
“James would have been in the squad (for Wigan) but unfortunately he has an issue with his back at the minute,” said Neil. “He hasn’t been featuring. It is not something that is going to be a long term issue. Just a few bits of discomfort at the present time. Matt will come with us.”
Yanic Wildschut is available to play against the club he left on deadline day last week and fellow Dutchman Mitchell Dijks is also in the mix after his first competitive outing in nearly two months with a barmstorming debut at Cardiff.
“The really pleasing thing is after about 60 minutes he was feeling a bit of cramp,” said Neil. “He hasn’t played for a while with the winter break in Holland but he pretty much refused to come off the pitch. He took his gels, cracked on and got the job done. It shows mental strength as much as anything else. He’ll be fine. The one thing about him is he is determined to play. He hasn’t come here just to see how he does. He is desperate to get us to the Premier League and he wants to test himself at the highest level.”