Scotland, Fallon and Hyam Back For Millwall Trip
Friday, 14th Jan 2011 15:23
New manager Paul Jewell is able to call on strike pair Jason Scotland and Rory Fallon and midfielder Luke Hyam for his first game in charge of the Blues at Millwall on Saturday. Scotland is OK after a calf injury, Fallon was cup-tied for Arsenal’s visit and Hyam is back after a torn hamstring.
Jewell is still without a number of senior players as his Town reign begins at the Den, where the Blues won in the Carling Cup earlier in the season: “Grant Leadbitter’s suspended and Alan Quinn and Shane O’Connor are both carrying injuries. I spoke to Troy Brown this morning and he’ll be back in in the next week or so.
“I spoke to Jake Livermore on the phone on Wednesday or Thursday, Tottenham have a policy that if they’re injured and on loan they go back and they don’t let them back out until they are fit. Hopefully it will be the end of next week.
“Other than that we’re more or less at full strength. Jason Scotland trained this morning and will be in the squad.”
Quinn has suffered a setback as he recovers from the groin injury which has hampered him since pre-season, O’Connor is on the way back after his shoulder problem, Brown has tight hamstrings and Livermore a groin problem.
The Liverpudlian says he weighed up whether to make changes to the team which beat Arsenal with possible fatigue coming into his thoughts: “You do think about it after such a high tempo, energy-sapping game. The players know the team and what I’m hoping is that most of them can take some positivity out of it.
“When you’re winning games, you almost don’t feel tired and you never get injured. It’s when you’re losing games, you tend to feel tired.
“It’s something I’ve taken into consideration and when I selected the team I thought long and hard.”
Jewell appears unlikely to make too many changes from the side which defeated Arsenal. Márton Fülöp looks certain to be in goal with options limited in the defence, so Jaime Peters and Darren O’Dea, who will be staying on loan until the end of the season, at full-back and Damien Delaney and Gareth McAuley at the centre of the defence.
The new boss may well choose to stick with the five-man midfield which beat Arsenal with Carlos Edwards and Connor Wickham wide with Mark Kennedy in the holding role behind Colin Healy and captain David Norris. Tamás Priskin will probably be up front with Wickham perhaps joining him if Jewell’ decides to go with a 4-4-2 formation.
Millwall, who are ninth in the table, eight points ahead of the Blues having played a game more, have signed 21-year-old former loanee Theo Robinson from Huddersfield for £250,000 and the striker will be in the squad facing the Blues.
Central defensive duo Paul Robinson, the Lions’ captain, and Danny Shittu are set to miss out with hamstring problems, while the versatile Tamika Mkandawire is a doubt with a groin strain.
Striker Josh McQuoid will be missing for a month with an ankle injury having signed permanently from Bournemouth.
Ex-Town man Liam Trotter was sidelined for last week’s 4-1 home FA Cup defeat to Birmingham with a back problem and is rated 50/50, while striker Kevin Lisbie is ineligible against his parent club under the terms of his loan.
Manager Kenny Jackett is frustrated by the number of players that are unavailable: "It's not good news, but you get injuries during the course of the season. Your squad and your club have to cope and adjust to that.
"Obviously those players have done well for us, but we have other good players at the club and if we need to bring players in, we will. We are working on that and we'll see how things progress.
"We'll see what we do. We'll have to have a look at our options and do some work on the training ground - it's something that we have to get through."
The Millwall boss says that he’s not known a season where there have been so many managerial casualties with Town’s Roy Keane amongst them since the sides last met: “I think it's probably unprecedented in terms of how it's gone this season - there have been a considerable amount of managers who have moved-on or lost their jobs lately.
"Each individual club will have to tell you whether that's a good thing or a bad thing. Each club is different and they all needed to make a decision, and what they chose was up to them.
"If you're looking at Ipswich, that is a club with high expectations. We owe them one. They are a good club and have a new manager on Saturday, but we are looking forward to the game because we don't want to lose to this side again."
Liam Trotter moved to the Den from Portman Road during the summer and recently signed a contract extension to 2014. Kevin Lisbie is on loan with the Lions for the season, while another former Blue, full-back or midfielder Scott Barron, signed a new three-year-deal with Kenny Jackett's club earlier in the campaign.
Mark Kennedy started his career with the Lions, making 46 starts and eight sub appearances and scoring 12 goals between 1992 and 1995. Jaime Peters had trials at Millwall and then-boss Dennis Wise was keen to sign him before the Canadian joined the Blues in 2005.
Town just have the edge historically, Millwall having won 15 games (14 in the league) and Town 16 (13), while 12 (12) have ended in draws.
In September the teams met in the third round of the Carling Cup at the Den, the Blues winning 2-1. Tamás Priskin and Gareth McAuley put Town 2-0 in front at half-time with Lions’ frontman Steve Morison netting the home side’s only reply early in the second period.
A month later, Jason Scotland’s fifth goal in six home league games and a Grant Leadbitter penalty saw the Blues to a 2-0 victory over the Lions at Portman Road. Scotland struck what was only Town’s second first half league goal of the season, then Leadbitter sealed it after the break from the spot, Danny Shittu having fouled Tamás Priskin.
Town’s most recent league game at the Den was back in August 2005 when Darren Currie and Sam Parkin scored for the Blues and Ben May for the Lions as the game ended 2-1 to Joe Royle’s side. Richard Naylor was sent off just prior to the Blues’ 80th minute winner.
Saturday’s referee is Iain Williamson from Berkshire, who has shown 77 yellow and two red cards in 19 games so far this season. Williamson’s most recent Town game was the 1-0 home defeat to Birmingham on Boxing Day 2008 in which he booked Alan Quinn, Tommy Miller, Moritz Volz and two visiting players.
Prior to that Williamson was the referee who red-carded Pablo Couñago and Scunthorpe loanee Jack Cork for a clash during the Blues’ 2-1 win at Glanford Park in March 2008.
Squad from: Fülöp, Lee-Barrett, Peters, Eastman, O'Dea, Delaney, McAuley, Smith, Kennedy, Norris, Healy, Hyam, Lambe, Hourihane, Civelli, Wickham, Priskin, Scotland, Fallon, Murray.
Photo: Action Images
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