No news is good news on the injury front for City boss ahead of trip to Blackburn
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Head coach Daniel Farke was delighted to tell Norwich City fans that he has no fresh injury concerns ahead of the Canaries’ trip to Blackburn on Saturday.
That follows the 2-1 home win over Nottingham Forest on Wednesday that pushed City three points clear at the top of the Championship, with Todd Cantwell and Kenny McLean returning from injury as substitutes during the win.
"No news - and that means good news for us!” joked Farke. “All of the players who were involved in the game on Wednesday are also available, so no new injury concerns.
"That is good news because we had a few players with us who were there with just one training session, and each and every day with each training session that they can have right now helps them.
"So good to have three additional days, two days of training for Todd, Kenny, Jordan Hugill and Kieran Dowell."
City number one Tim Krul (thigh) could return to Farke’s squad at Reading next Wednesday and midfielder Lukas Rupp (hamstring) is hoping to be in contention for the home clash with Cardiff the following Saturday, while defender Ben Gibson (calf) and winger Przemek Placheta (hamstring) are hoping to be back before the trip to Watford on Boxing Day
As the treatment room clears out that leaves full-backs Sam Byram (hamstring) and Bali Mumba (knee) and winger Onel Hernandez (groin) targeting January returns and striker Adam Idah (knee) hoping to be back in February.
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Left-back Xavi Quintilla continues to work on the persistent hip problem which has kept him out for 10 games and had returned to Spain for treatment at parent club Villarreal but it’s unclear when he will be able to return.
Farke added: "It is another week for Lukas Rupp so I expect him to maybe be a topic for the Cardiff game and the same more or less with Tim Krul.
"I'm very sure that he is available for the Cardiff game, there is still a good chance that he is also involved in the Reading game - but it is a bit too soon to speak about. They both can't feature."
Christoph Zimmermann and Josh Martin came in for the injured Gibson and Placheta against Forest and Farke is thrilled to have Cantwell, McLean, Hugill and Dowell back in contention – with Cantwell setting up Buendia’s winner during his late cameo.
“In general it was crazy to have these four players back on the bench, just one training session. The days between the games help each and every player,” he continued.
“For Kieran Dowell it was more like to have him back after three months was for the mood, to give him a boost, for the absolute emergency case.
“Right now he is back in training and he starts to become an option, not for 90 minutes but for a short-term cameo.
“The same with Jordan Hugill, he wasn’t out for that long, which is quite good as he didn’t lose that much in terms of his endurance and strength – but it was a bit risky with his shoulder.
“The physios and doctors recommended to be a bit more patient with him, so the three days will be good for him.
“It’s a bit different with Todd and Kenny because they were not out as long as, for example, Kieran Dowell.
“Todd was out for three weeks and it’s not enough to be back for one day and then be involved in the game. Kenny the same, was out for four weeks, and after just one training session to come on the pitch is not normal.
“But we got the feeling that we had a bit of a special situation in terms of injuries and I was pleased to have them available.
“For example, Kenny McLean’s maturity and physicality, also during his apperance on the pitch he won many duels, headers and second balls.
“Also Todd I thought he looked quite sharp for the 15 minutes, he was involved in the goal, this is a boost for his confidence and his rhythm.
“We were waiting a long time until he was there with an assist, so I think quite good for him.
“It’s not like they are ready after being back for four days to deliver over 90 minutes in each and every moment, they are not fully back in their rhythm, but each and every day helps them.
“They’re becoming more and more reliable, also a really good option for our game, and I’m pretty delighted with this.”
With the injury crisis starting to ease and just one defeat in 13 games, Farke is really pleased with the spirit in his squad at the moment.
"In general we have a fantastic mood in the dressing room and a great team spirit, great togetherness and camaraderie,” the German explained.
"This is special, even with the players who are not always involved or are injured and can't help us on the pitch. It's quite important that they are not running around moody, that they are there and support the team.
"I also have to give lots of credit to the new signings, how quickly they adapted to this group and also brought absolutely positive spirit to this group.
"It's outstanding. Jordan Hugill and Ben Gibson are a bit the kick that we needed. So this positivity is fantastic and this is what you need when you are in perhaps different periods during the season, sometimes performance-wise, although this was not so much a topic for us.
"But difficult situations in terms of injuries, for example, I think that helped us to go through those periods and if we can maintain this togetherness and camaraderie it will also help us in the next games when still some key players will be out.
"It seems like there is a bit of a light at the end of the tunnel, some players are back now. It's definitely good news and it seems like the worst is definitely behind us."
You can watch the key parts of Farke's press conference in the video above