Chris Hughton: Forget fatigue – everyone at Norwich City wants to play every game
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Norwich City face a demanding three games in eight days for the second time in three weeks, but no one in Chris Hughton’s squad is about to start asking for a rest.
The Canaries take in the longest trip of their top-flight campaign on Saturday as they travel to in-form Swansea, before Paul Lambert’s first return to Carrow Road since his acrimonious departure with Aston Villa in a mouthwatering League Cup quarter-final on Tuesday night. Wigan’s Premier League visit follows four days later.
The demands are obvious – but with a place in Hughton’s matchday squad as hard won as ever, the City boss does not expect fatigue to be a worry for any of his charges.
“Everybody wants to play at the moment – I haven’t got anybody who feels like they want a rest or a player we particularly want to rest,” said Hughton. “The decisions will be solely based on a particular team for a game. We have got a competitive squad at the moment and certainly have no fear about making any changes because any changes I did make would be because I felt it would make the team as equally strong.
“So I’ve got no fear about making any changes but certainly at this moment with got a group of lads who all want to play and want to play every game.”
Centre-back Michael Turner will return to training on Monday following a shoulder injury sustained in the win over Manchester United last month, although the trip to Wales will come too soon – as in all likelihood will Villa’s visit.
Indeed, the City boss may have some of his thoughts already trained on the Canaries’ big cup clash – for which there will definitely be one extra body available, as Jacob Butterfield completes his month’s loan at Bolton this weekend.
“We will have a conversation with Bolton on Thursday – only because his loan finishes on Saturday – but at this moment the plans are that he will come back,” added Hughton.
“I think with Jacob coming back, I haven’t got a particular game in my mind for him. It’s because he went there to get experience and to play some games, and solely that.
“In general, I’d have to say Tuesday does come into my thinking but it is minimal at this stage – the large majority of my thoughts are solely on Saturday. But you have to have a thought on Tuesday because there is preparation to do and in that you have to know what team you are going to be up against on Tuesday.
“So it’s more from a preparation point of view – but I won’t seriously consider which team I will play until after Swansea.”