Garner Still Out as Chambers and Downes Suspended But Kenlock Back in Training
Friday, 1st Dec 2017 14:47
Town will again be without Joe Garner when they face his former club Nottingham Forest at Portman Road on Saturday, while Myles Kenlock is back in training after a hamstring injury and could be in line to return to the Blues’ backline with skipper Luke Chambers suspended, as is midfielder Flynn Downes.
“He’s not fit, he’s still nursing his foot,” manager Mick McCarthy said of Garner, who was absent for the 1-0 win at Derby in midweek.
“Unfortunately, when he put his boot on it was too sore, so sadly we’re missing him again. I think he should be OK for the Middlesbrough trip.
“The danger was on Tuesday night was that if he had tried it, he may well have tried it and came off and not been fit for either game.
“As it turns out, he’s not fit anyway. But it really is just a matter of resting it up, I think, and fingers crossed he’ll be OK for the next one.”
Town suffered no new injuries at Pride Park but Chambers and Downes both picked up their fifth bookings ahead of yesterday’s amnesty and will miss the Forest match.
“Not injuries, we’ve Chambo suspended, of course, and Flynn Downes,” McCarthy added. “Myles trained today as well, he was missing and I hadn’t expected him to. Myles is fit.
“It was his first training session since he had a tight hamstring and he did OK. We’ll see if there’s any reaction tomorrow. I don’t think there will be, I think he was fine this morning.”
Kenlock could come back in at left-back if McCarthy switches Jonas Knudsen into the middle of the defence in place of Chambers, who he hopes his side won’t miss too much for his presence as much as his defensive attributes.
“Hopefully not at all,” the Town boss continued. “There’s nobody else in the squad of his ilk. I was asked the same about Didzy and Joe and my answer to that all the time is that I hope we don’t. I hope somebody comes and steps into his shoes.
“Whether he’s got the same personality and same influence on other people is a different matter. Let’s hope he plays really well and we have another clean sheet.”
Cole Skuse will wear the armband in Chambers’s absence with McCarthy feeling the Bristolian has a different style of captaincy.
“Skusey wouldn’t be as verbal as Chambo, but not many are, and I love that about him,” he reflected. “I’ve said before, he’s one of the best captains I’ve ever had, Luke.
“Skusey’s different, Skusey’s durable. He’s seven out of 10 pretty much every week, if not higher. He’s consistent.
“He is highly thought of by the rest of them in the squad. Always, if Skusey says something they’re going to respect it.
“He goes about and he just does a great job every week, Skusey, and I think it has a reflection on the other players.”
After Callum Connolly’s fifth-minute goal at Derby Chambers gathered the players around for a huddle, reminding them to keep things tight in the spell immediately after scoring.
McCarthy says that illustrated the 32-year-old’s ability as a captain and the overall performance the closeness of his players.
“We’ve got a really tight-knit squad, they’re all pretty pally,” he added. “I’m not sure when they go away from me, but that doesn’t bother me greatly. But when they’re around in here.
“But I do think they socialise together as well. And it’s not going out and having loads of beer like it used to be.
“I think it’s wives and girlfriends and the guys going out and eating together and enjoying each other’s company.
“And I think that’s always been reflected in how the team play. It’s great when Chambo does that sort of thing. I think it just galvanises them even more.”
McCarthy says midfielder Emyr Huws came through his first start at Derby - he played 60 minutes - without a problem: “Yes, he’s fine, he’s trained well today.”
But still absent for Saturday’s match will be Tommy Smith: “Tommy’s only had two days’ training, he’s nowhere near. He was itching to be training and then prior to his last injury he was itching to go.
“But he went off and played for New Zealand, of course. He’s only had two days’ training, he’s nowhere near the first team yet.”
Regarding Downes picking up his one-match ban having made only five starts and seven sub appearances, the fifth at Derby for kicking the ball away, McCarthy added: “I’ll have a word, but I’m not unduly worried about that.
"I’d sooner have him the way he is, I’d sooner have to try and calm him him down than rev him up. And you never have to do that, he’s a competitor.
“If it comes back that he’s kicked the ball away and it’s dissent or ungentlemenly conduct then he’s going to have to buy the drinks for the lads at the Christmas party or something, so he’ll get fined.”
Also still out are Tom Adeyemi (hamstring), David McGoldrick (gashed groin) and Andre Dozzell and Luke Hyam (knee surgery).
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