New boy Hughes ready to face Wigan

PUBLISHED: 10:30 31 July 2009 | UPDATED: 10:53 24 September 2011

Stephen Hughes during Thursday's public training session at Carrow Road. Picture: Antony Kelly

Stephen Hughes during Thursday's public training session at Carrow Road. Picture: Antony Kelly

David Cuffley

City fans will get their first look at midfielder Stephen Hughes in tomorrow's final pre-season friendly against Wigan Athletic at Carrow Road (3pm).

The 26-year-old, who signed a three-year deal with the Canaries last week after rejecting a new contract at Motherwell, is ready to face the Premier League side.

City fans will get their first look at midfielder Stephen Hughes in tomorrow's final pre-season friendly against Wigan Athletic at Carrow Road (3pm).

The 26-year-old, who signed a three-year deal with the Canaries last week after rejecting a new contract at Motherwell, is ready to face the Premier League side.

“Stephen has been through an aggressive fitness programme and is ready for some game time and it will be great to see him in a Norwich City jersey,” said manager Bryan Gunn.

But it's a case of wait and see for some of Gunn's other summer recruits in the last warm-up match before the League One season opens at home to Colchester in eight days' time.

Winger Simon Whaley missed yesterday's open training session because of a dead leg he suffered after scoring the only goal in Tuesday's friendly at Crystal Palace, but was expected to train today.

Gunn was also waiting last night for international clearance to play his two latest signings, Danish defender Jens Berthel Askou and Serbian striker Goran Maric.

Centre-half Michael Nelson will not be risked tomorrow after being knocked out and stretchered off at Palace after an aerial collision with defender Jose Fonte.

Said Gunn: “It's just precautionary. He's desperate to play but at the same time it was a big bang. It was 10, 15 seconds maybe, out. We have just put him in a cotton wool situation and will not take any chances. There is no reason to at this stage.

“We will give him an extra week's rest before we pick the team and the squad for next week, which is the important game.”

Full-back Adam Drury had an extra day's rest yesterday after taking a knock on his ankle, but was expected to train today.

Striker Cody McDonald will definitely feature for the first time since the tour of Scotland after recovering from a knee injury.

Wigan beat Preston 4-1 in their latest pre-season game with new manager Roberto Martinez favouring the open style of football that made his Swansea team so easy on the eye last season.

“Roberto is known for his style of play and it was recognised that Swansea were one of the most attractive teams in the Championship last season and only just missed out on the play-offs,” said Gunn.

“He has signed two of the stars of last season from Swansea in Jason Scotland and Jordi Gomez.

“We expect a good, competitive game. It will be the toughest game of our pre-season programme.”

Scotland scored three times in two matches as Swansea doubled the Canaries last season.

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