Wagner: Sargent Returning for Weekend Game

After being rested for last weekend’s FA Cup loss to Blackburn, Josh Sargent will be available for the Canaries’ trip to Preston on Saturday, according to new head coach David Wagner.

Speaking in the pre-game press conference on Friday, the German-American head coach addressed the situation with Sargent, after the USMNT forward was given a rest for Sunday’s cup loss to Blackburn.

“It looks like we have the same squad available, plus Josh who is back in training this week,” Wagner confirmed.

This alleviates any fears that Sargent’s heavy workload as of late, including both World Cup and club duty in rapid succession, might have led to the emergence of some nagging injury.

While the narrow loss to the current third-place team in the Championship was surely a disappointing way for Wagner to begin his tenture at Norwich, the real meat of his job – securing a chance at promotion for the Canaries – begins on Saturday when they visit current tenth-place Preston.

Wagner has already indicated that he plans to use Sargent in his natural forward role, in contrast to deployment as a right-sided winger as was often the case with his predecessor Dean Smith.

He has also indicated that he plans to abandon the 4-3-3 formation often used by Smith, likely placing a pair of forwards atop the attack. This creates a logjam up front, with Sargent, Irish prospect Adam Idah, and Finnish legend Teemu Pukki all capable of fulfilling the two roles.

In his comments, Wagner remained coy as to his exact personal plans for the two attacking positions, but did indicate that there would be one odd man out when the team takes the field on Saturday afternoon.

“It’s a great situation to have three top quality strikers with different skills, different ages as well,” he mused, continuing “But, the truth is, if you don’t want to play someone out of position, then only two of the three will start.”

Whether Sargent is one of the lucky two will be clear shortly before the teams kick off on Saturday afternoon, 3pm local time, 10am Eastern US time.

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