Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Stoke City: Robert Huth hoping for comeback from injury in time to face Arsenal
ROBERT Huth is harbouring outside hopes of making a remarkable comeback from injury in time to face Arsenal on Saturday.
The German was expected to play a portion of today's behind-closed-doors friendly against Burnley for his first taste of action since knee surgery in late November.
And that might leave boss Mark Hughes with a choice between Huth and Marc Wilson in central defence.
"I would like to be available on Saturday," said Huth, "but ultimately that will be the manager's choice.
"I've only trained five or six times, but I'm feeling good and ready to kick on.
"It would be better if this friendly was Saturday, but it will do nicely."
Huth has played in Stoke's last four home league games against Arsenal – one win, one defeat and two draws – and says it is high time they began picking up points again.
"We need to get our backsides in gear and get some points on the board," he added. "We've done well against the top four and hopefully we can keep that run going to get three points.
"We are trying to keep our good run going against them and with them in the Champions League maybe they will be resting a few."
He acknowledged Stoke fans have frequently voiced their opposition to Arsenal, especially manager Arsene Wenger, but he believes that is a back-handed compliment.
"I believe it's just a sign of respect because Arsenal is a great team and has a great manager," he explained, "and we as players are trying to be as good.
"To beat them, we need togetherness and a bit of luck."
Huth was speaking at Kidsgrove's University of Chester Academy on a visit to open their 3G pitch organised by the Stoke City Community Trust, which is sponsored by the Co-operative.
He says he can't wait to be playing again in front of his own fans, but he admits Wilson has been a capable understudy in his absence.
"I love the Stokies because they all supported me and hopefully I can get back to give them something to shout about," he said.
"He (Wilson) is doing really good. But it is always difficult for me because he is a player in my position, so I don't want him to do well!"
Wilson has played in 14 of Stoke's 16 league and cup games since Huth limped off against Sunderland on November 23 before undergoing surgery to trim his meniscus cartilage.
Before his lay-off, Huth had only missed three league games in the past two years thanks to a retrospective red card for an off-the-ball incident at Fulham last season.
Huth, who has also played at full-back for Stoke, is three short of a century of league starts alongside Ryan Shawcross at centre-half. Get the new iPad Air. Converts on a zip submit. US traffic only. No incent. No Co-Reg. Offer Cap: 1,000 daily.