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Hughes' Playing The Waiting Game

Manager Mark Hughes

Image by: Getty Images

PUBLISHED

15:29 10th January 2014

Boss to make late decision on goalkeeping choice...

MARK HUGHES has revealed that a late decision will be made on who gets the nod to start in goal against Liverpool on Sunday afternoon.

Jack Butland appears to be in prime position to make his first Premier League start after impressing against Leicester last weekend, when he deputised for the sidelined Asmir Begovic and Thomas Sorensen.

However, Sorensen returned to training on Friday, just two weeks after limping out of the draw with Everton after twinging his Achilles.

Hughes refused to divulge too much information regarding his mindset, but did admit that he has a decision to make after the Dane came through the session unscathed.

“It’s a decision that I am going to have to make over the next 24 to 48 hours because Thomas joined in training today and came through it fine,” he said at the pre-match press conference.

“Whether he is ready for the game or not, we will have to see. It’s something that we will look at tomorrow in training and then make a decision.

“In many regards I am fortunate to have three top quality goalkeepers at the club in Asmir, Thomas and Jack, whilst we have a couple of young guys with good potential too.”

He added: “Jack has shown over a prolonged period of time how good a player he is, and when called upon against Everton and Leicester he stood up to the challenge incredibly well.”

One player the Welshman is definitely without however is winger Oussama Assaidi, who is ineligible to feature against his parent side.

“It’s disappointing not to have him available because he has carried the flag for us in some regards over the last few weeks, so we will miss him.

“He has shown how good a player he can be, and he is somebody that defenders don’t like to play against because he is direct, and likes running with the ball close to his feet.

“We do have other options though on the left hand side with both Marko Arnautovic and Matthew Etherington able to play in that position.”

Meanwhile, Hughes delivered promising news on Robert Huth’s rehabilitation back from injury, but conceded the game would come too early for the German to make a return.

“Robert joined in today which was fantastic, and we will see how he is over the next few days, but with regards to Sunday’s game, he is one that definitely won’t be involved.

“The other who isn’t available to me is Andy Wilkinson, who is still struggling with his injury.”


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