Chris Hughton - Michael Turner will not let Norwich City down
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Michael Turner would let no-one down if pressed into action for Norwich City’s Premier League tussle against West Brom, according to Chris Hughton.
Turner is a viable option should Joseph Yobo fail to prove his fitness following a calf injury that ruled him out of the 3-0 defeat at Swansea. Ryan Bennett was preferred to Turner alongside Seb Bassong, with Hughton opting to keep the centre-back in reserve after his long lay-off with a hamstring injury. Turner has not featured for the Canaries since the New Year’s Day trip to Crystal Palace – the last time Norwich picked up a point on the road.
“I would have no problems with starting Michael on Saturday,” said Hughton. “We had a really good training session on the Monday, a longer session which was very intense and if I felt it was right I would have no hesitation. He is now fit and available and another week further on in his training. I think the fact he was not involved at Swansea is because I had made up my mind to go with one defender on the bench. That allowed me to have another offensive player to change things.
“It wasn’t a question of him not being available or ready. It was simply either him or Steven Whittaker on the bench and with Steven it gave us a few more defensive options. If we had a problem at full-back then he could play there and Russell (Martin) we know can slot into centre-half. The decision to play Ryan ahead of Michael was very much based on the type of game I expected at Swansea and the fact he is more up-to-speed than Michael.”
Hughton confirmed yesterday Yobo had yet to train with the rest of Norwich’s first team squad this week.
“He went out with the fitness coach and the medical staff this morning (Thursday) and he has come through that fine,” he said.
“We are very hopeful he will train on Friday and be available. He hadn’t trained the early part of the week but he has just been put through a very tough session and he wasn’t too far away for the Swansea game but we felt it was too big a risk.”
Leroy Fer could also be back in training next week following his hamstring injury while fit-again midfielder Elliott Bennett is poised to step up his return from knee surgery in Friday’s development league game at Liverpool’s Under-21s. Bennett will feature for at least an hour as an over-age outfield player in Mark Robson’s squad for his first outing since City’s opening day Premier League draw against Everton.
“Elliott has trained very well. We’ve just had to make decisions on when to involve him in a game situation,” said Hughton. “We opted not to in the last development game because we felt at that stage he would only get about 45 minutes and he was better served with two training days but he will play longer in this one. Hopefully we’ll get 60, 70 minutes out of him. He looks sharp and we are pleased with him. “With Leroy we’re hoping he will train with the team at some stage next week. When that will be we are still determining.”