May 25 2013 Latest news:
Paddy Davitt, EDP Sports Writer
Friday, March 15, 2013
Chris Hughton admits Anthony Pilkington’s injury absence creates a potential selection dilemma for Sunday’s televised Premier League trip to Sunderland.
Hughton confirmed at Colney on Friday afternoon Pilkington will miss the trip to the north-east after suffering a fresh hamstring problem in last week’s goalless Southampton draw. The midfielder has had to pull out of the Republic of Ireland’s provisional squad for upcoming World Cup qualifiers, but Hughton revealed he is not unduly concerned after Pilkington aggravated the same hamstring back in February at QPR.
“He will be out two to three weeks. We have to make sure we do it right now,” he said. “It is not the same area of the hamstring (as at QPR) and it is not a bad one. It is just short of a grade one, which will only keep him out for a few weeks but our responsibility is we want him available for as many of the eight games after this weekend. We have to treat it right and take no chances with him
“For us and him the international break has come at a bad time regarding his inclusion in the Irish squad but regards the length of the injury at probably a good time. There are options. Wes (Hoolahan), (Elliott) Bennett and also (Robert) Snodgrass who can play on that side. I suppose that is one area we have chopped and changed a bit because Pilky has missed a few games this season and it is an area we have to be a little bit flexible.”
Fellow midfielder Alex Tettey (knee) will also be given another two week break but is targeting a return for the trip to Wigan following the international shutdown. England keeper John Ruddy could re-join full training with the rest of the squad over the next fortnight.
“Alex will miss Sunday’s game but he will be available for the next game away to Wigan which is good news,” said Hughton. “With John we’re still looking at the end of this month. He has done a lot of good individual work. He hasn’t trained with the team yet and perhaps over the next couple of weeks he will do that. Then we’ll see his progress from there. He has had no setbacks and that is the main thing. I would have to say in Mark Bunn and Lee Camp they have provided some excellent competition between them and have worked hard. The opportunity to get John back has to be at the right time.”
Hughton confirmed talks are on-going to extend Chris Martin’s loan spell at Derby County, which expires after this weekend’s Championship derby against Leicester. Meanwhile, Korey Smith has joined League One Oldham on a one month loan deal and is available for the Latics’ weekend league game at home to Bournemouth.