Norwich City defender Ryan Bennett a major injury doubt for Manchester City Premier League test
15:39 06 February 2014
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Norwich City’s new loan signing Joseph Yobo could be pressed into action against Premier League title-challengers Manchester City this weekend with Ryan Bennett a major injury doubt.
Chris Hughton confirmed at Colney on Thursday afternoon centre-back Bennett has not trained all week with a thigh problem. The City chief is not ruling out a late Saturday fitness test for the 23-year-old, but Hughton has no fears if Yobo is required to step into the starting line-up after linking up with his new team mates this week. Hughton delivered more positive injury news on the on-going fitness of Michael Turner (hamstring) and Jonny Howson (back). Both will again miss out against the Blues this weekend, but the duo have made progress in recent days.
“Michael is still out but he has been outside and doing some work this week, which is healthy,” he said. “We are hoping Jonny Howson won’t be too far away which will be a real bonus for us and apart from that only Elliott Bennett is a longer term.
“Ryan Bennett has not trained this week and he is touch and go for Saturday. He has just felt his thigh slightly. It might end up being a fitness test before the game but we are hoping he is available because he has been playing very well at the minute.
“That is just one of a few decisions I have to make and I want as much competition in the squad as possible so having Joseph here doesn’t give me any headaches. Regarding the squad you want competition. We have a few injuries right now, we have 14 games and it is up to me to make the most of the resources we have available.”
Hughton also confirmed Swindon Town have made a loan enquiry for teenage wide player Jacob Murphy.
“I would have to say there has been some enquiries on that front. It is something we are very much thinking about but at this stage nothing official,” said Hughton. “What we have been quite consistent on here is when younger lads go out on loan it is specifically to get experience. Not just in actually playing in the team. That is the ultimate aim but the experience of being around a different environment, first team football and any young player who goes is to benefit us as opposed as to the player going out.”
Hughton also revealed Wes Hoolahan comes back into his plans after a transfer saga that saw the Irishman ultimately frustrated in his attempts to leave the club last month.
“Wes will be in the squad,” Hughton said. “There is only one thing that is certain now - Wes will be here. Wes is very committed. We have a 14-game end-of-season run-in and he’s very much there for the challenge, very much part of the squad. He’s very motivated. He’s knuckled down very well in training. He is a good player as we are all aware of and he will be fighting the same as everyone else for a place. He’s trained very well and he’s very focused.”