TEAM NEWS: Farke’s challenge to Hanley and why he feels sorry for Villa over McGinn injury blow

PUBLISHED: 15:16 24 December 2019 | UPDATED: 15:19 24 December 2019

Grant Hanley made an impressive return from injury for Norwich City against Wolves 
Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Grant Hanley made an impressive return from injury for Norwich City against Wolves Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Paul Chesterton

Grant Hanley could feel like a new signing for Norwich City if he can build on his impressive return against Wolves.

Norwich City chief Daniel Farke had been without the Scottish international for nearly four months with groin and hernia problems.

Hanley's return could not be better timed with Ben Godfrey (knee) out until February and Farke feels with no more returns to the treatment table he can get back to the form of his first Carrow Road season.

"Fingers crossed for him because he totally deserves some luck, just on personal terms," he said. "He showed against Wolves what he is capable of but Grant is a great character he was never searching for any excuses. I was never was searching for any excuses. I'm delighted for him.

"It's not easy after three and a half months to come back and then to deliver against a top class players like (Raul) Jimenez. It's good to have him back and also in good shape.

"Maybe you could say on an individual level he was under some pressure to put in a performance and that will be a boost for his confidence. I am confident if he stays injury free he can deliver on this level."

Farke confirmed he had no fresh injuries for the Boxing Day trip to Aston Villa when he held his pre-match press call at Colney on Tuesday.

Josip Drmic (hamstring) is targeting a return after the FA Cup trip to Preston.

"He's back and doing some individual stuff on the training pitch already," said Farke. "And I think team training is not too far away. So I expect pretty soon after this festive period he is back into training and then to be back in the mix after the Preston game."

Villa have their own injury problems to contend with, after key midfielder John McGinn was ruled out with a fractured ankle.

"I feel a bit sorry for Aston Villa because as a head coach you always wish you have your players fit," said Farke. "Of course it is always a big blow. We have had this with injuries to many key players.

"It is something you just have to handle. For me, when but that is a big chance for another one to come in. Ben Godfrey was one of our best defenders and he is out for several weeks but then it is now a chance for Grant to shine.

"Villa have a big squad with a lot of quality and competition in the midfield areas and they definitely have good options to replace McGinn."

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