Team News: Norwich City
By Kevin Affleck
Quique Sánchez Flores will spend this evening deciding how best to deploy Troy Deeney after the captain was declared fit enough to rejoin the squad.
Deeney has worked his socks off to get himself back into contention following a knee operation, grafting at the weekends at London Colney and in his spare time with a fitness coach, and it has paid off with a slightly ahead-of-schedule return. He was on the team bus that left for Norwich this afternoon and now it is down to Sánchez Flores and the medical team to decide how long he can play against the Canaries.
“He's ready to come to the group and go to the list,” said Sánchez Flores, who last picked Deeney for a squad in May 2016. “He is ready and we will make the final decision. It's very good news.”
Deeney joined in a full session for the first time on Tuesday and the intensity immediately went up. His leadership qualities, as well as his ability to lead the line and find the back of the net, will be vital in the team's attempt to move away from danger.
“If I say we miss him a lot, it sounds like an excuse,” said the Head Coach. “We don't want excuses right now. We want to play, improve on everything and we want Deeney in this team as we know what he means for this club.”
The 31-year-old has been out since the middle of August following surgery to trim some cartilage and remove some bone fragments. He has worked tirelessly with physio Pete Webb and fitness coach Lee Stafford to get back to a level where he is able to help the team.
“He has done amazing to try reach this match, to try arrive for this match,” said Sánchez Flores. “He is training very passionately and gives us this positive energy that he has always.”
Sánchez Flores was given further good news this week with the sight of Étienne Capoue, last year's Player of the Season, and record signing Ismaïla Sarr returning to full training.
“It's not just Deeney,” he said. “We have [José] Holebas, Capoue, [Sebastian] Prödl, Sarr – players who have recovered in the week — and now we have more options. It's good for the team.”