May 24 2013 Latest news:
Monday, October 29, 2012
Chris Hughton admits he has a balancing trick to pull off this week with a Capital One Cup quarter-final place at stake against Tottenham.
The City chief has named an unchanged line up for the much-improved recent Premier League showings against Arsenal and Aston Villa, but Hughton plans to test the depth of his squad again ahead of Spurs’ midweek visit to Carrow Road.
“There will be changes – how many I don’t know yet,” he said. “I have to say that where I am fortunate is that I’ve got good options and we are not the type of squad that has got a best 11 that’s far better than those outside it.
“We’ve got a lot of players and when you look at the likes of (Robert) Snodgrass, (Jonny) Howson and (Andrew) Surman, these are all lads that have been regular starters. So I certainly will mix it up a bit.
“The balances are always a real tough one because I still would say Saturday’s game against Stoke is more important. But I understand we will have a big crowd on Wednesday against a top Premier League side.
“I’ve got a lot of faith in the squad we’ve got and the competition we’ve got, and when I have players that are chomping at the bit to play, the difficulty I have in picking the team and leaving players out, at times you’ve got to look for those opportunities and I will look for that on Wednesday.”
Defender Russell Martin looks set to be unavailable after being replaced at half-time against Villa with a back problem.
“He just felt it and certainly with the back it just tends to go into a little bit of a spasm,” said Hughton.
“I have got options midweek and let’s hope he is okay. I have to say Ryan (Bennett), even though I know he wasn’t under as much pressure with the ten men, I thought he did well.”
Martin’s likely absence and the temporary loan departure of Elliott Ward could force Hughton to consider another outing for Villa goal hero Michael Turner, who continues to bounce back from early adversity.
“I’m pleased for him because he is starting to hit a bit of form now and he is becoming more consistent,” said Hughton.
“I was disappointed with the goal we conceded because it was a soft goal. I thought they were a test, the two they have got up front. (Christian) Benteke and (Gabriel) Agbonlahor are two good players, two international players, and they test you and I thought we coped well with them, but a lapse of concentration for the goal was disappointing.”