Chris Hughton has today announced the bad news that Elliot Bennett will be sidelined for “several months” after undertaking a knee ligament operation, last night.
The news will be a hammer blow to the player himself who, I thought, played very well against Everton.
Meanwhile, Gary Hooper is set to miss out again due to bruising to his shin when City visit Hull on Saturday. But in better news, Robert Snodgrass, Seb Bassong and Anthony Pilkington will all come into contention for that game. Chris Hughton spoke about the injury news at a press conference earlier:
“Losing Elliott is a big blow for us. It`s really bad news for the player first and foremost because I felt he did well against Everton,” said Hughton. “He played the game on Saturday but didn`t have a great reaction and we have since found that there was a knee problem that was operated on last night and will keep him out for a number of months. Robert trained for the first time today and along with Seb and Anthony will come into contention for the weekend. Gary still hasn`t trained yet. We felt progress might have been a little quicker than it has turned out.”
Hughton also revealed that Johan Elmander is awaiting international clearance and if that arrives in time, he will be available to face Hull.
Hughton was however, coy on the subject of Ayala and Becchio and today`s transfer news liniking them both with moves to Middlesborough.
“When you are a club in the Premier League there is always going to be speculation. What we have managed to do very well is when we are bringing in players we do it at the right time and let people know at the right time. That is the same with letting players go,” he said. “We are making assessments of the squad. We have brought in eight players now but we have had more go the other way so we have to get the balances right. We have to feel everyone within the squad can give us that competition.
“Dani is someone who went out on loan last season but came back and I have to say looked very good in pre-season training. That is one we are assessing but it is important for him to get games at his age. He managed that last season, albeit probably didn`t get the number of games he wanted. If we feel after the window it is right for certain individuals to go out on loan then we have that opportunity.”