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Berra, Taylor and Skuse All Miss Brighton
Monday, 13th Feb 2017 15:34

Christophe Berra, Steven Taylor and Cole Skuse have all been ruled out of Tuesday’s visit to second-in-the-table Brighton and Hove Albion.

Berra and Taylor were both subbed during the first half of Saturday’s 1-0 win at Aston Villa and manager Mick McCarthy confirmed that they will miss the trip to the Amex.

“They’re both injured,” he said. “Steven Taylor’s got a hamstring injury which will keep him out for four weeks, I would have thought, and Christophe can’t play because he was concussed, so he’ll be back on Saturday.

“I think he’d like to play but I’ve said he can’t, that’s the rules, I’m not being held responsible for any subsequent damage which might happen. You can’t risk it.”

Despite losing two more centre-halves to injury - Adam Webster is already out for the season with an ankle problem - McCarthy says he’s not been tempted to hasten Tommy Smith’s return to the first team.

The New Zealand international will play his second U23s game at West Brom tonight having undergone back surgery in September.

“It would be wrong to rush Tommy back, he’s not ready for that,” he added. “Having spoken to him yesterday he never intimated to me that maybe he could go and play at Brighton.

“I saw him play for the U23s last Monday and he was fine, he got through the game but he’s not ready to play in the first team yet.

“And to risk that with all the games we’ve got coming up would be daft. He’s got to be fully fit.

“I’ve always thought Jonas Knudsen would make a great left-sided centre-back in a three, I think that’s a position for full-backs really if they’re a good size and they can head it.

“They’re happier going out defending one-v-one rather than centre-halves. That suited him and I thought Jordan Spence was excellent when he came on.”

He added: “I’ve always thought it was a position for full-backs. They have to go wide and play from there and me being a centre-half kind of recognises that.

“Rather than having to go and play wide in the right-back slot, I liked to stay down the middle, that’s what centre-halves do.”

The Town boss says Saturday’s goalscorer Emyr Huws is fine despite taking a knock at Villa Park.

“He got nasty bang on the knee, he’s got a bruised knee,” he said. “I’ve just spoken to him and he says he’s OK.”

But fellow midfielder Skuse won’t be back until the weekend due to the achilles injury he suffered against Reading.

“Skusey’s not fit, fingers crossed he’ll be fit for Leeds because we don’t have Toums for that game,” McCarthy continued.

Recently signed winger Danny Rowe could also be available for Saturday’s home game against Leeds.

“He’s got a groin strain,” McCarthy said. “I think he’ll be training on Thursday. He’ll probably be available for Saturday.

“He came in and he did really well in the U23s last week and if he’s fit he’ll be in the squad.”

On-loan Reading striker Dominic Samuel is undergoing his rehab with the Blues having broken his toe in training on Friday.

“I haven’t seen him today, I came in a bit late because we were training later. The injured, the sick, lame and lazy were all in before me. I’ve seen his car, so he’s obviously here,” the Blues manager added.

“It is a blow, he came in, he looked good in training, he scored a hat-trick in the U23s and then he limped off on the Friday, broke his toe - six weeks out, I think.”

Better news is that Luke Hyam will play for the U23s this evening, his first game since suffering a knee injury in the pre-season friendly at Cambridge which eventually required surgery.

“I spoke to him on the way into training, just to wish him luck,” McCarthy said. “He’s had a big smile on his face, looking forward to the game, he’s quite excited by the fact that he’s going to get back playing.

"He may only do 60 minutes but knowing him he’ll attack it like he always does.”

The Town boss says the Blues have missed the 25-year-old’s tenacity and bite in midfield: “I remember going to Brighton last year, he was on the bench and Kevin Bru had run out of gas.

"I took him off and I put Luke on and he played in behind the strikers and he closed the defenders down, got about them and tackled.

“He can make a difference, his energy, his positivity and the way he plays. Fingers crossed he’ll be all right tonight.”

With the Brighton match the second of three in eight days is McCarthy tempted to make a few changes? “There’s the dilemma isn’t it? Don’t change the team, leave it and if anything goes wrong I should have freshened it up.

“Change it and it’s ‘Why the hell are you changing it when you’ve had a really good performance and won it?’. We’ll see.”

Jonny Williams (shoulder) and Giles Coke (knee) both also remain sidelined.

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martin587 added 15:41 - Feb 13
Same team as Saturday then,good enough for me.!👍

whosroundisitanyway added 15:48 - Feb 13
Central defenders are like buses, 3 come along at once then they all break down!!

ClausThomsen added 15:51 - Feb 13
No need to freshen it up Mick, stick with the XI that did so well for you on Saturday! No-one can argue with that win and performance.

Knudsen and Spence played well so why not reward the winning team with the chance to build on the last performance - we might win 2 in a row!

You changed the winning team from the Blackburn match and look what happened there!

It's not rocket science.

Lightningboy added 15:54 - Feb 13
Shame about Taylor & Berra.

positivity added 15:56 - Feb 13
hope huws & diagouraga are up to another 90 minutes so soon, otherwise the same team as started the 2nd half will be as good as we can get. need digby on the bench this time though!

arc added 16:10 - Feb 13
Is Digby healthy?

Smithy added 16:13 - Feb 13
a whole team bar GK out injured/not match fit, lets get our excuses out now!

Webster Taylor Berra Smith
Williams Hyam Coke Rowe

Yep stick with side that finished game, bar Huws for Bru. Free game really, not expected to get anything, just go out there and enjoy it boys!

NBVJohn added 16:20 - Feb 13
“Skusey’s not fit, fingers crossed he’ll be fit for Leeds because we don’t have Toums for that game''

Is this a sign of McCarthy's thinking beyond the Leeds game?

'Toums' replaces 'Skusey' for the remainder of the season, except when he's unavailable, and no mention of heard it here first!

On the evidence of the Villa game, in my opinion, this is a move towards more attacking, positive football.......Unless we get a hiding at Brighton, in which case, you know what to expect.

PLEASE MM, start at Brighton with the team that began the 2nd half at Villa!

phillo added 16:46 - Feb 13
"Rather than having to go and play wide in the right-back slot, I liked to stay down the middle, that’s what centre-halves do.” - so why has Berra been playing wide left of the back 3 then ????
Mick never seems to make sense !!!!

jas0999 added 17:30 - Feb 13
I'm still hoping for a positive result at Brighton. Hope to build on the win and draw, otherwise it will be back to our win one', draw one' lose one routine. Injuries are no excuse. Just had a transfer window. Knew Webster was out and Smith still not match fit. Decided to plump for an injury prone cheap option on short term deal - who unsurprisingly is injured. Shame about Berra though, but it's a short term injury and quite wise to be cautious.

superbob added 17:51 - Feb 13
think we should get some new conditioning staff, whenever we sign players they get injured!

carlo88 added 17:52 - Feb 13
I'll miss Giles Coke (knee) when he's gone.

Think this is a match to listen to from behind the sofa with vast quantities of alcohol at the ready.

Town1Inter0 added 18:20 - Feb 13
A least we've won something this year with three of the lads winning a Brighton beauty pageant.

busterjames added 21:16 - Feb 13
No Skuse is good news !! Another attacking display on the cards then .Happy to see the team that finished start .

cat added 21:57 - Feb 13
Carlo88 QUALITY LOL!!!!

cat added 22:05 - Feb 13
Out of all the injuries we have at the moment, the only ones I'm gutted about are Smith who's on his way back and Taylor who's injury is no surprise. We still look strong on paper, so a point tomorrrow night might be on. Can't say I am bowled over excited by Hyams return, I know his one of our own but his always to busy pruning his hair, watch him on his return if you think I'm talking arse!!.

mistert added 08:10 - Feb 14

Does Hyam use garden shears for his pruning?

tempzzzz added 13:05 - Feb 14
He was actually having a reasonable interview then until he decided to have a little dig at the fans at the end! Lets hope Skuse isn't back for Saturday though, much rather we didn't play CDM at all than play him, just hope he doesn't play "different class dougie" if "skusey" is out!

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