Fit-again Andrew Surman gives Norwich City another option
Norwich City midfielder Andrew Surman will make his long-awaited return to the Canaries’ squad for the Premier League trip to Liverpool.
Surman’s last top flight involvement came against the Reds in the 5-2 Carrow Road league reverse back in late September. The 26-year-old started the following week’s Capital One Cup win over Tottenham but has not featured since after suffering a knee injury.
Chris Hughton confirmed at his pre-match press call yesterday that both Surman and Jonny Howson will make the trip to Liverpool. Howson picked up a knee injury at West Ham on New Year’s Day before missing last weekend’s goalless draw against Newcastle through illness.
“Jon is fit and available for this weekend. He has had a good week’s training,” said Hughton. “Andrew will also be in the squad. What he hasn’t been able to do is play in the games and do the work we would have liked to an extent because of the weather but he is a very fit lad anyway, Andrew.”
Surman’s fitness boost comes after Hughton allowed fellow midfielder Jacob Butterfield to join Championship promotion hopefuls Crystal Palace earlier this week on an emergency loan in a bid for the regular football he missed out on at Bolton in a similar short-term stint.
“We were disappointed with the amount of games he had at Bolton,” said Hughton.
“It happens, when a player goes out on loan you hope they will get the games you would like.
“Unfortunately it is down to how that club sees it. It is an opportunity again for him to get regular football. The fact that he started late with us (in the summer) because he had to recover from an injury didn’t help him. He has been desperate to get involved, but what he has done is gone on a loan whereby if we need to bring him back we would do.”
Striker Grant Holt has felt no adverse reaction to his second-half cameo against the Magpies following a hamstring injury which disrupted his festive programme. Fellow frontman Steve Morison (thigh) and defender Steven Whittaker (hip) will again miss out this weekend.
“No, they won’t be available this week and it will be touch and go for next weekend,” said Hughton. “I’m more hopeful for the following midweek.
“Grant is fit. It was a decision we had to make last week and I think it was the right decision which we took in conjunction with the excellent medical staff we have. He has trained well this week.”
City flew to Liverpool last night – following a two-hour delay – after altering their travel plans due to the forecasted adverse weather, which had also disrupted Norwich’s preparations this week.
Hughton’s squad trained at Carrow Road yesterday after their training base was covered in snow.
“We have had to change our planning but we are hoping once we get there the weather is okay to get the game on and put on a performance,” said Hughton. “We struggled at the training ground on Tuesday and we had to work indoors. The only option we had then was to train at the stadium. That is not a bad thing although it is something you tend not to do too often. It was important because it was preparation we need going into an important game. We weren’t able to get on the training pitches Tuesday so we had to work indoors. It has affected us slightly but these are issues you have to work around the best way you can and use your facilities. With us being away this weekend and the FA Youth Cup game being called off during the week it was a real good opportunity for us to use the pitch.”