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McCarthy: Williams and McGoldrick Can Add Spark
Friday, 14th Oct 2016 06:00

Blues boss Mick McCarthy believes returning pair Jonny Williams and David McGoldrick can add a much-needed spark to his misfiring Town side. Williams could make his fourth Blues debut at Blackburn tomorrow, while McGoldrick is expected to return to the squad for next Saturday’s trip to Newcastle.

“You know full well they can,” McCarthy said when quizzed on the potential impact of the pair, who have both been out with ankle ligament injuries, at Thursday’s press conference. “You’ve watched them for the same four years I’ve watched them.

“Didzy was prolific at one stage when he was in his pomp with Murph, he was terrific. And when Jonny was here, he lit the place up, he was outstanding.”

McCarthy says that although Williams is “feeling a lot more confident” about his ankle he may still need some convincing that he’s ready.

“He understands his body better than I do. I’ve watched him, he’s still icing his ankle, he has to go through the protocol of doing that, and his rehab and his prehab beforehand, making sure he’s OK,” he said.

“When you’ve had an injury like that, I know having had knee ligament injuries or ankle ligament injuries which he’s had, you feel all right and sometimes you go into a block tackle or a ball hits the end of your toe and you think, ‘I’m all right, I’m OK’.

“Maybe he just hasn’t had that yet. He’s all right, he’ll be fine. But then it’s the level of fitness, he’s not been playing. So the injury’s one thing then that match-hardened fitness is the next thing. He’s got to have both of those to play.”

McCarthy says former Blackburn striker Leon Best is getting closer to the top of his game, the 30-year-old having joined the Blues at the end of August after a successful trial without having had a proper pre-season.

“I think [he is], bearing in mind he had three games prior to the international break, and I thought he played well in the games. And we didn’t really create that many chances for him. He’s fine, he’s OK.”

Did Daryl Murphy’s exit and injuries to Brett Pitman and Luke Varney mean he was forced to start the ex-Rover earlier than he would have wanted to?

“Not before I wanted him to but probably before I expected he would,” McCarthy admitted. “I think he’s shown a great level of fitness, to be honest, having come in and played the games that he did.

“I think he played very well in the last game. I thought he played well in the three games, to be fair to him”

Meanwhile, the Blues manager says defender Tommy Smith is progressing as expected after undergoing back surgery in mid-September.

“Tommy will be 12 weeks, that’s exactly what it will be,” the Town boss continued. “He’s in, he’s walking, he looks fine, I’ve seen him today, there’s just a process to go through with Tommy. It’s not a hamstring, ‘Can we improve it, can we do this or that?’, it was a serious back injury, an operation on his back, so it’ll take as long as it takes.”

Midfielder Luke Hyam went under the surgeon’s knife last week to resolve the nerve problem in his knee he suffered in the pre-season friendly at Cambridge United.

The Blues manager says it was a big blow for the 24-year-old, who missed much of last season with another knee injury.

“Even more so as we thought it was OK,” he continued. “The surgeon had said he wasn’t going to operate on it, he was going to give it a few weeks to settle down, he thought it might, and it did.

“And we had him out training and he had a smile on his face and then he came out and he felt it again. It was an awful blow for him and for us.

“He’s gone and had it operated on, they’re pleased with it and at least we’re more hopeful it’ll be OK. I’m sure it will be now.”

Photos: Action Images/TWTD

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pup12 added 06:50 - Oct 14
They will only add spark if Played!And played in their best position!

goat_man added 09:13 - Oct 14
Our entire game plan this season is built around two players who have no recent history of being able to play more than 2 games before missing the following 3 months. Crazy stuff

PJewellisaGod added 09:22 - Oct 14
And built round a player we sold and didn't bother replacing.

Currie10 added 10:30 - Oct 14
Agreed. If the defence keeps this off and these two are fully fit all season along with Bishop we're very likely to come top 6.

The reality is these two will NOT be fit all season!

TimmyH added 11:07 - Oct 14
I can guarantee when they are both fit Mick won't play them in the same starting line up.

mathiemagic added 12:22 - Oct 14
Agree with MM that they will definitely add some much needed spark to the team but i echo all above comments about reliability. Lets cross our fingers they can last more than a couple of games before sitting out the next few months. Despite recent results i think we can get a result at Blackburn. We definitely need it as i suspect we will come away from St. James park with nothing.

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