Aston Villa v Norwich City pre-match press conference: Updates from Colney
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Daniel Farke held his pre-match press conference on Friday ahead of the Championship trip to Aston Villa - and our correspondents were there for all the headline news from Colney.
Farke delivered a big injury blow for youngster Jamal Lewis, who now faces four months out after undergoing surgery on a knee problem that curtailed his impressive pre-season.
“A small operation. Sadly we have to confirm we will do without him for the next four months,” he said. “Really sad for Jamal because he was brilliant in pre-season and improved from day to day. In the beginning it was not clear what the problem was and why was it not responding. He was close to the starting XI and a good option at left full-back.”
Lewis is the second City player to require early season surgery following Alex Pritchard’s ankle ligament damage. In more positive news Ivo Pinto is in the squad for the trip to Villa Park after being forced to depart with what the German head coach said was cramp in the second half of Wednesday’s 2-0 home league win over QPR.
Pinto, however, is likely to be only on the bench with Farke keen to protect the key full-back who suffered a disrupted pre-season after picking up a hamstring problem in the opening friendly at Cobh Ramblers.
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“After the international break he will be there 100pc. If he could get to that stage without a pre-season then we would all be able to do that,” he said. “It is quite normal that he has struggling a little bit. He missed the whole pre-season, perhaps just one week training. He had to recover on Thursday but he can travel with us. We can’t give him two games in three days. I hope he is there to be a substitute and maybe defend the last 15 or 20 minutes if we need him. Ivo is such a good player. He was important last season and, for sure, he will be important this as well.”
Timm Klose is not in consideration for the trip to Villa Park, but has stepped up his return to full fitness in recent days. Harry Toffolo is also back in the mix after 45 minutes in a development outing earlier this week.
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Farke made five changes for the QPR win but the likes of Steven Naismith and Marco Stiepermann could be pushing for game-time this weekend with City in the midst of a congested early season spell also that includes a League Cup tie next week at home to Charlton. Stiepermann made his City debut in a late cameo against QPR.
Pritchard, Louis Thompson and Matt Jarvis are longer term injury absentees.
• Re-live the press conference via the window.