“There will probably be a few changes” - Canaries duo to be assessed ahead of Spurs clash
PUBLISHED: 12:03 27 December 2019 | UPDATED: 12:03 27 December 2019
Norwich City duo Max Aarons and Grant Hanley are the main fitness concerns for head coach Daniel Farke as the Canaries prepare to host Tottenham just two days after defeat at Aston Villa.
City were left bottom of the Premier League table after Watford drew at Sheffield United on Boxing Day, as Farke's team again performed well but came out on the losing side - with an unjust 1-0 loss at Aston Villa leaving them with just one win in 14 matches.
With no time for a pre-match press conference ahead of Saturday's 5.30pm kick-off against Spurs at Carrow Road, Farke delivered an update on the condition of his players at Villa Park.
Right-back Aarons needed treatment midway through the first half after being caught late in a challenge but limped on and completed the 90 minutes, as one of City's best performers on the day.
"I think when he won the ball he got a kick against his Achilles and it's pretty swollen, pretty painful for him," Farke explained.
"I hope it's not too bad, we have to wait just a short time to recover, just 48 hours, I hope he's okay for the next game."
With a game against Crystal Palace on New Year's Day to consider as well, Jamal Lewis could come in at left-back and Sam Byram could switch to the right.
However, there is no recognised centre-back option available if skipper Hanley is unavailable, having played two full matches in quick succession already after a return from over three months out due to groin and hernia surgeries.
Farke explained: "The Championship is a good teacher because it is the toughest league in the world and you know how to handle load, for that we are totally prepared.
"We are a side who always has to invest in each and every game a lot, in terms of emotions and also in work load. The depth in our squads is not like the top class sides, for us it means a quick turnaround is a bit more difficult than the top class squads who can rotate a bit more and don't have to invest as much from the mental side for each game.
"Of course it is difficult but we don't complain, these are the rules, we accept this and I trust my lads. There will probably be a few changes but I don't expect that we can send 11 other players out on the pitch.
"We also have some late decisions because Grant Hanley is just coming back from injury and I'm not sure if he can handle three games in seven days, also some other knocks against the players.
"We have some other options and for that I think we will use our squad in this moment, but at this moment I can't predict how many changes I will make, it also depends on the condition of the players."
Farke made a triple substitution in the 76th minute at Villa, bringing on Onel Hernandez, Mario Vrancic and Marco Stiepermann for Alex Tettey, Tom Trybull and Emi Buendia, with all three substitutes going through a thorough warm down on the pitch after the game, suggesting they could be in contention to start against Spurs.