Norwich City striker Gary Hooper to start against Watford but Ricky van Wolfswinkel doubtful with a toe injury
©Focus Images Limited www.focus-images.co.uk +447814 482222
Norwich City’s club record signing Ricky van Wolfswinkel is set to sit out Tuesday’s Capital One Cup trip to Championship promotion hopefuls Watford after suffering a toe injury in the weekend Premier League defeat to Aston Villa.
The Dutch international was an unused substitute in the previous round’s 6-3 win over Bury but Chris Hughton confirmed on Monday afternoon he will take no chances with his striker.
Gary Hooper will start at Vicarage Road and youngster Josh Murphy has also been drafted into Hughton’s cup squad. The City boss is confident van Wolfswinkel will be back in contention for this weekend’s Premier League trip to Stoke. Team captain Sebastien Bassong is poised to undergo a scan on his hamstring injury later on Monday to assess the extent of the damage that forced him off in the opening period against Villa. Hughton has already ruled the centre-back out of his Watford plans.
“He’ll certainly miss tomorrow. We’ll assess it today because he is a having a scan later on,” said Hughton. “We hope it is not too bad and that it is a slight hamstring. Sometimes that can be back related so we have to get to the bottom of it. It’s too early to talk about Stoke. Let’s just get through today and see what the scan brings.
“At the moment we have a few knocks and bruises but we are okay generally. Ricky got a knock, a whack on the side of his toe. He is a little bit sore but we don’t feel it is anything too serious. If he is not fit for tomorrow the feeling is it will only be a few days. Regarding anything else major injury-wise, we are okay.
“It’s a good opportunity for those in the squad who have had not much involvement. The end product is the same though - we will give everything to go through. Young Josh Murphy will also be in the squad. Whether he starts is a decision I have to make but we feel he deserves to be in and around it. He has done very well in the development games.”
Van Wolfswinkel may miss out at Watford but Hughton confirmed at his pre-match Colney press call the Dutchman will take any future penalties after Robert Snodgrass missed against Villa after appearing to pull rank on the striker.
“We have spoken about it as a group and those conversations remain private. In my time here we had one penalty last season against Southampton and one this and we have missed both,” said Hughton. “Ricky will take the penalties from now on, if he is on the pitch. Football is an emotional game and it is about confidence and the situation at the time and you want players who want to take responsibility. Robert is a confident player and normally in the thick of things so I have no problem with that.”