IT’S been an important week for Dean Whitehead and Karim Matmour.

Both are targeting starts against Cardiff City.

Midfielder Whitehead has made two substitute appearances since returning from a knee injury.

And forward Matmour made his Town debut as a half-time substitute at Brighton and Hove Albion last Saturday.

The Algerian international signed only 10 days ago.

Hear David Wagner's thoughts on tranfers.

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And head coach David Wagner explained: “For both Dean and Karim, it’s been an important week.

“It’s the first time they have been able to take part in a prolonged spell of team training.

“Because we have had midweek matches, we have had to adapt our schedules.

“Dean worked hard in his rehabilitation training, but it can’t compare to working with the team.

“Those minutes on the pitch have been important, and so has this week.

“Timing is crucial, and we have to make sure the moment is right for him to start a match.

“We want to see the Dean Whitehead we knew before the injury.”

Before Brighton, Matmour hadn’t played competitive football since leaving Kuwait club Al-Arabi in October.

“Karim has been able to get to know the players better,” added Wagner.

“He doesn’t have a problem knowing the system we are using or feeling confident in it because he has played that way in the past.

“But he has to know his

teammates, how they want the ball in certain situations or how they react in certain situations.

“This week has helped him in that process, and he has improved his fitness also.

“We want to develop him to the stage where he can really help us.”

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