Chris Hughton has questioned the wisdom of the latest round of international friendlies wedged into a crucial phase of the Premier League season.

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Norwich City trio Anthony Pilkington, Alex Tettey and Ryan Bennett have all pulled out of national squads over the past few days, but Hughton still faces an anxious wait before Scotland duo Robert Snodgrass and Russell Martin, along with the Republic’s Wes Hoolahan, report back safely to Colney.

Hughton has already accepted his preparations for Fulham’s pending Premier League visit to Carrow Road will suffer a degree of disruption.

“It is something we could absolutely do without,” he said. “With the internationals at the weekends you know you have good recovery periods, but to squeeze a game between two league fixtures is very tough. There is not a lot of time for anyone who gets a knock on the Saturday to be ready for midweek and vice versa. What will happen is anyone who does go off and play a full game on the Wednesday night for their country is back at some stage on the Thursday and then spends Friday recovering. I think it is more the worry of injury; you would settle for them playing if they are going to be fully-fit for the Saturday.

“But there are a lot more clubs who will have far more international players away than us, so I think probably it balances out a bit, but it’s certainly not a good position.”

City midfielder Pilkington was poised to earn his first senior cap for the Republic of Ireland before picking up a hamstring injury in the early stages of City’s 0-0 draw at QPR last weekend. Hughton carved out a distinguished international career as part of the Irish set-up which saw him play in both the World Cup and the European Championship finals, and the Canaries’ chief is in no doubt Pilkington can take the same step in time after finally being drafted into Giovanni Trapattoni’s plans.

“I think it was overdue. He had been very much knocking on the door,” said Hughton. “In fairness to Anthony I think it wasn’t only about his form, but also his eligibility. There was a bit more to it than just his performances but I was really delighted for him. Just for him to be involved and to have a chance to play on a regular basis in the future is something very exciting for him.

“I think it is fair to say if you are involved in an Irish squad it is not going to be the same strength perhaps as an England or a France squad. The Irish set-up has always had to use that real good feel that you can generate within the group to try and get the best out of those players. He certainly has ability and I think he is also a good age. He is not a real young one who lacks experience and he won’t let anybody down.”

8 comments

  • Snodders has become a sort of "New Hucks", with added Work Ethic, Dave.B. We certainly don`t want him damaged.

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    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, February 6, 2013

  • I think the international matches just before the start of the season were even more stupid. Managers get their squads trained, fit and coached into a certain playing pattern only for them to risk injury, possibly playing out of position in some meaningless international fixture.

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    waclor

    Wednesday, February 6, 2013

  • I agree Snodders is a key player for us so fingers crossed. I was in a box with a load of QPR fans on Saturday. They all agreed that we were by far the more accomplished side out on the pitch. It was a fair result but it shows what rubbish Redknapp talks most of the time and how he putting on a brave face having spent millions again, facing the drop -aka Portsmouth

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    andys

    Wednesday, February 6, 2013

  • The only player on international duty I worry about picking up a knock is Snodders, big blow if he's not 100% for Saturday. If Hoolahan picks up a knock it may force Hoots hand to play 2 up front, not such a bad thing for Fulham at home.

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    Dave.B

    Wednesday, February 6, 2013

  • Snodgrass is not starting. For us thats good. For him maybe not.

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    sharky

    Wednesday, February 6, 2013

  • You do have to wonder about the sense of these so called friendlies at this stage of the season. It's a money making thing for the various FAs, but can disrupt teams to whom the loss of a key player, through unnecessary injury, can be crucial

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    Algarve Canary

    Wednesday, February 6, 2013

  • Harry has a plan B. Obviously plan A is PL survival but if not, he is hoping that the extra income from TV will cause a rise in wages across the PL and Harry will be able to offload his recent purchases as well as those acquired by Mark Hughes. Go for it Harry just as long as we finish above you.

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    waclor

    Wednesday, February 6, 2013

  • Snodders has become a sort of "New Hucks", with added Work Ethic, Dave.B. We certainly don`t want him damaged.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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