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Paddy Davitt, EDP Sports Writer
Monday, December 10, 2012
Chris Hughton had a sharp retort for the conspiracy theorists over the absence of injured duo Alex Tettey and Ryan Bennett.
Both were omitted from his Swansea match day squad as a precautionary measure after sitting out parts of training last week with what Hughton labelled minor niggles ahead of the successful trip to Wales. The City boss pulled no punches when he was asked directly in his post-match briefing whether Tettey’s removal from the starting line-up was due to a reported training ground altercation.
“No. Listen I can tell you categorically now that isn’t the case, but can I say that is a naughty question,” he said.
“It has been a good day. I don’t know where you have pulled that one from because the spirit is incredibly good. We have an excellent group of lads. It would be difficult for there to have been a training ground incident when he didn’t train, so that is a little bit naughty.
“He had a slight knock. Alex felt something a couple of days ago. The good news for us is its minimal. It is one I could have played him today but that is the balance sometimes as a manager. If I had, he could have been fine or it could have been something that was made worse and with the competition we have at the minute I decided to leave him out and certainly not to aggravate it.”
Centre-back Bennett did not travel with the squad after picking up an injury in Norwich’s battling Premier League home win over Sunderland. Russell Martin was restored to the side following his own injury lay-off.
“Ryan felt something in the Sunderland game. We thought generally he would be okay, although he didn’t train early part of the week, but he is another one where it is minimal,” said Hughton. “It would have been a risk to play him and perhaps when you come away with a win you are delighted you made those decisions because both Ryan and Alex if they had played they might have made the problem worse.
“To play Russell was another tough decision because I had Leon Barnett on the bench, but that is why these lads train well because the opportunity can come when they least expect it. Credit to Russell and also to Jonny Howson.”