Alex Pritchard ‘in a lot of pain’ after suffering ankle ligament injury in Norwich City’s friendly at Cambridge United
- Credit: Liam McAvoy/Focus Images Limited
Norwich City are facing an anxious wait to learn the extent of worrying looking injuries to key players Timm Klose and Alex Pritchard.
Both were taken off during yesterday’s 120-minute friendly at Cambridge United, a 2-0 win thanks to early goals from Josh Murphy and Ben Godfrey, with Pritchard taken off on a stretcher with what appeared to be an ankle injury.
Klose was clattered into by big Cambridge striker Uche Ikpeazu shortly before half-time and Pritchard was caught as defender Mark Roberts smashed a clearance out of his box in the closing stages.
“Sadly in some moments the opponent was pretty aggressive,” City head coach Daniel Farke said. “It is football so when they are on the pitch they want to win and when you are too dominant sometimes the opponents lose their nerves and it was a pretty dangerous foul.
“Timm I hope will be okay, a muscle strain or something like that so hopefully he won’t be out for too long.
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“Then in the last quarter it was a clear foul on Alex Pritchard and we should have had a penalty. It’s a strained ligament, hopefully it’s not too bad but he has a lot of pain and was a little bit disappointed, a little bit of crying in the dressing room, so it doesn’t look too good.
“We have to wait for the diagnosis of the doctor but I’m pretty concerned about that.”
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Farke also calmed continued speculation from the media in the north-east that Premier League new boys Newcastle have been trying to sign Jacob Murphy, amid claims the winger wants to join the Magpies and a bid of £10million plus add-ons have been made.
The 22-year-old will be part of City’s week-long training camp in Germany though, for which they flew out this morning.
“Yes, for sure,” Farke replied when asked if Murphy will be in Germany, after making a delayed start to pre-season due to his England Under-21 exploits. “Like I have said, I don’t take part in speculation.
“Jacob returned (on Saturday) and we did some testings and I’m looking forward to working with him.”
Wes Hoolahan and summer signings Marley Watkins and Harrison Reed also didn’t feature against the U’s but City’s German boss added that all three only had minor issues and will play a full part in Germany, with Harry Toffolo also hoping to return from a muscle strain this week.
“They trained at Colney,” Farke explained. “Wes is one of the older ones so we have to take care of him, after a game he always needs a little bit more and his muscles are a little bit stiff. I hoped he would return but it wasn’t possible, hopefully he will return in Germany.
“Harrison I think it’s no problem, it was a lot of performance for him and many minutes in the last games so I’m pretty sure he will return on Monday to the team training.
“Marley, I am not concerned about this, he will return to training on Monday in Germany, if not then hopefully on Tuesday or Wednesday, they can both play in the game on Wednesday against FC Duisburg so I’m not concerned about those guys.”
Overall though Farke was pleased with the friendly, splint into two 60-minute matches and with plenty of changes throughout the game by both teams.
“A pretty good session for the guys,” he added. “Some of the guys had to play 120 minutes, most of the guys 90 minutes, so it was a pretty good test against a very aggressive and motivated opponent.
“In 120 minutes we didn’t give away too many chances, we didn’t concede any goals, 2-0 is always good, especially in pre-season when you are a little bit tired.
“I thought we started the first 10 minutes a little bit sloppy, a little bit lazy, I was not happy with the first 10 minutes. After that I thought we played 30 minutes really brilliantly, dominated the game, were pretty good in possession, scored two goals and had many chances.
“After that in the third quarter we were very dominant and controlled the ball, a little bit I wish we had more deep runs in the third quarter and you could realise the guys were getting a little bit more tired and in the fourth quarter it was hard because we’ve had a pretty exhausting week and some of the guys had to play 120 minutes.”
The German training camp will feature two games for the first team and two for the under-23 squad. The senior squad will face Duisburg at Willi-Hafer Stadium in Hilbeck on Wednesday (kick-off 6pm) and Arminia Bielefeld at Schuco-Arena on Friday, July 21 (6pm KO).
The U23s, take on SC Rot-Weiß Oberhausen at Stadium Niederrhein on Wednesday (12.30pm) and Eintracht Braunschweig U23 at Hotel Klosterpforte on Friday (12pm).