July 24 2014 Latest news:
Paddy Davitt, Norwich City Writer
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Norwich City’s new team captain Sebastien Bassong hopes his first 60 minute outing of the summer in Monday’s 4-1 development league win over Stoke City’s Under-21s at Colney can give Chris Hughton a selection dilemma for the Premier League kick-of this weekend.
Bassong turned in a composed 60-minute shift watched by Chris Hughton’s coaching team Colin Calderwood and Paul Trollope in his first game since undergoing knee surgery at the start of the summer.
“That is down to the gaffer whether he thinks I am ready for Everton,” he said, prior to his seasonal re-appearanace against the young Potters. “I have been training for a while. I know they don’t want to take any risks so we will see for this week. I will play on Monday with the 21s and we will see. It is a big week. We all want to be ready for the start of the Premier League. I’ve been struggling with my knee for the last three or four months of the season so we managed it well to get me through. Then I had an operation on my meniscus. Everything went fine, I had my rehab so now I am back on track. My pre-season has been a bit different to the rest of the boys but I feel I am nearly ready.”
Josh and Jacob Murphy slotted a goal apiece with Jamar Loza’s close range finish and an own goal from Potters’ defender Alex Grant completing the rout for the hosts, although Stoke earned a minor consolation in stoppage time when James Alabi’s cross deceived Harry Toffolo and Carlo Nash.
Bassong and Nash were joined in the line-up by fellow first teamers Jacob Butterfield and Luciano Becchio, but there was a fresh injury scare in the second half when the Becchio suffered a clash of heads that required lengthy treatment before the dazed City striker was able to walk unaided to the changing rooms.
“It was planned for him to come off just at that minute but he was really brave and stuck his head in and made a key interception,” said Paul Nevin, the academy’s new head of coaching, who took charge of the squad along with academy chief Ricky Martin. “The medical team will check him over and I am sure he’ll be okay in the final few days. It was really important to see Seb back. I thought he had a good hour and led the line really well. It’s great for the younger lads when they see a senior come down. They want to try and impress and again we have the management staff on the side of the pitch so that should inspire them as well.”