Hyam and Bialkowski to Start Against Blades as Ward Joins Injury List
Friday, 5th Jan 2018 16:02
Boss Mick McCarthy has confirmed that Luke Hyam and Bartosz Bialkowski will start for the Blues in tomorrow’s FA Cup third round tie against Sheffield United at Portman Road, while Grant Ward has joined Town’s lengthy list of absentees having suffered a tear to his groin in Tuesday’s defeat at Fulham.
“He’s the latest in the long list of injuries that aren’t available,” McCarthy said ruefully. “He’s got a little tear in his groin.
“I’ve not had the prognosis on it, I left it alone, I didn’t ask. It’s grade two, apparently, so it’s not the worst. He’s certainly out tomorrow and Leeds might come a little bit too soon as well.”
Reflecting on the injury situation which has continued throughout the campaign from pre-season onwards, he said: “It takes me back to shooting that albatross, I think. I never did by the way just in case, I am joking.
“I don’t know what’s happened in terms of the number of injuries that we’ve had. We’ve got Emyr Huws [knee] out for the season, Bish [hamstring] out for the season, Doz [knee] out for the season, Tom Adeyemi last featured against Norwich and has been out for half a season pretty much.
“So many knocks and really bad injuries as well, not just little nicks that you can get over.
“Skusey, he forced himself to play against Fulham with his ankle, he’d done his ankle a bit before, he got through the game but that’s still swollen. It’s a really difficult time, a really tough time, we’ve got to dig in and scrap it out.”
Adam Webster is also out having limped off in the last home game against Derby: “There’s no chance for him tomorrow, he has got that achilles problem.
“He’s having like an injection of lubrication. The best case scenario is Leeds, the worst case scenario, I don’t want to think about.”
Neither Flynn Downes nor Tristan Nydam are able to return either: “Flynn was absolutely goosed last week, shattered. Didn’t train well on Friday morning and I joked with him and he wasn’t in the mood for joking.
"I had him in my office and asked him and he said he’d got no energy at all, just completely as if somebody’s pulled the plug on him.
“We’re having blood tests but I don’t think it’s anything untoward, I think it’s just the fact he’s come out of the youth team, he’s trained with us every day, he’s gone on England duty, he’s trained with them, he’s had no break. I think he’s just run out of gas. So he’s not available.
“And Tristan’s still struggling with his pubis symphysis, I believe, which is his stomach, in and around his groin area. I’ve had that myself and it can really niggle on, you’ve got to get it right.”
There is better news regarding keeper Dean Gerken, McCarthy added: “His hip is still bothering him. Everybody’s having injections. He’s had some injections in it and had to be knocked out to have the injection so it was a bit more complicated.
“I’m hoping that he’s going to be OK. He’s just started doing something again. But there again, that’s another one where we’re not quite sure yet but we’re hopeful for him.”
The Town boss confirmed that Hyam, a late sub at Fulham, will make his first start in 19 months, his last having come on the final day of the 2015/16 campaign at Derby.
“Whether he’s ready or not, he is starting,” he confirmed. “He’s a fit, athletic lad, really looks after himself and I think the adrenaline will get through. We’ll certainly get 60 minutes out of him, hopefully more.
“It’s lovely to have him back, we need him back. We’ve got such a shortage of midfield players.
“Had Luke Hyam been fit over the last two years we wouldn’t have brought so many in anyway.
“So fingers crossed for him that it works out well and he plays well and we win. But it’s a good day for him.”
Reflecting further on his team to face the Blades, he confirmed that Bialkowski will be in goal - “Bart’s playing” - and added: “I’m making some changes to the team because we’ve just had the four games in a very short space of time, two weeks, this will be the fifth.
“I don’t know who, if anybody, coming in. I certainly can’t afford any injuries. But they’ll all be first-team players who are playing.”
New signing Aaron Drinan will also be involved at some stage: “Yes, he’ll be on the bench. He’s got a spring in his step, Aaron. He’s trained really well ever since he’s been here, but I think this last week he’s got an even bigger spring in his step knowing he can play.”
McCarthy reiterated earlier comments that Town’s injury situation is the result of ill fortune and not relating to anything more tangible that could be addressed.
“It’s not through anything that we do in training that gets players injured, that’s for sure,” he said. “They all work exceptionally hard.
“Emyr Huws did his knee at Middlesbrough, Tom Adeyemi I can’t remember what his first one was [achilles], then it was his hamstring, Teddy Bishop’s been ongoing, Doz did his knee on the pitch here. None of those could be avoided at all.
“Tristan and Flynn, yes - don’t put them in the squad or just put them in and just dip them in and out, I suppose. But we’ve needed Tristan and Flynn.
“But we do look at it. Lids [Andy Liddell] is fantastic as a fitness coach and our sessions are tough but they’re what’s required for this league.
“Go and ask David Moyes because the thought was when he got the West Ham job that the players weren’t fit enough and they didn’t work hard enough in training.
“I watched his team last night and, boy, they worked hard last night, threw themselves in the way of things and you’ve got to do it. There’s nothing that we do that has brought upon that injury list, not at all.”
In addition to the injuries, Jordan Spence starts his three-match ban for his red card at Fulham, while Adam McDonnell and the soon-to-depart Kieffer Moore are cup-tied.
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