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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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loyal_Blue added 16:04 - Jan 5

iaintaylorx added 16:21 - Jan 5
Good to hear Bart is starting. I would like to see Crowe given a shot though! Big lad, young lad and Bart even says he is ready!

midastouch added 16:21 - Jan 5
Big Sam Autobiography:
"When I hear reports of lengthy injury lists at ... clubs, I wonder what on earth they are doing behind the scenes. It shouldn't happen if you get your set-up right, unless you are very unlucky."
The question has to be, do we just just keep on getting unlucky every season or is something going badly wrong behind the scenes?

therein61 added 16:28 - Jan 5
I can see the spine of the team in the next few weeks Gerks Chambo Skuse(premier class him) which will slide us to div1 but they are proper blokes and are preferred to footballers by our great leader!!!!!

midastouch added 16:32 - Jan 5
He (Big Sam) says in the book, "We had charts on every player's fitness levels and his statistical performances in matches from distances run, pace over ten metres, to tackles, interceptions, and pass completion. We knew immediately when a player's level had dropped. There could be many reasons for that, mental, or physical. And the advantage was that the physios got an early warning sign of possible injury. That was vital, because treating an injury before any serious damage is done can make all the difference between being out for weeks or months. I've left players out knowing an injury was coming, while they are protesting they're perfectly okay to play. We had a small squad and having them available for as many games as possible was crucial. When I hear reports of lengthy injury lists at Premier League clubs, I wonder what on earth they are doing behind the scenes. It shouldn't happen if you get your set-up right, unless you are very unlucky."
The reason Bolton were able to qualify for Europe and punch well above their weight under Big Sam was because he was streets ahead of his time in terms of sports science and painstaking statistical analysis.
I don't know what goes on behind the scenes at Portman Road today but I do wonder if we're lacking at all such departments? Is Mick too old school to be treating these modern aspects of the game with the full respect they need? I haven't got the answer to that question but it's worth considering. Moreover, given we are up against a huge financial disadvantage we need to box clever by using every trick in the book to try and close the gap in other ways.

Mark added 16:38 - Jan 5
It's been a disastrous season for injuries, and that's on top of MM's shoestring budget to start with. Mid table is over achieving in the circumstances. If we're going to sell Bart and McGoldrick and only bring in frees and loans, I just hope we can do enough to avoid relegation in the second half of the season. Not exactly a great incentive for season ticket renewals!

Kikapu added 16:47 - Jan 5
MM making his intensions clear by starting him on Saturday that he wants to hang on to Bart. Might no succeed, of course, but that's good news.

happybeingblue added 16:55 - Jan 5
should the fans be interested in the fa cup ??? we know full well that mick does not care about the cup competitions... remember old trafford and the reserve team put out last years disaster...fa cup week is a bit like the international break with england.... roll on next week

PortmanTerrorist added 16:57 - Jan 5
Think i just injured my finger typing this. Must just be bad luck, injury list could not possibly by the Club's fault according to MM. Absolute rubbish. When things keep going wrong there has to be a common denominator, even if it is bad luck, we should be pulling up trees to confirm it is just bad luck and not poor management of the players.

Another season thrown away and another generation of supporters walking away. Let Didz go, let Bart go, sell Moore and let's get relegated....then we can change the manager and maybe have some fun in League 1. That almost sounds like something to look forward to if it were not for the fact we would then have to tighten our budget further and be in this same position but a Division lower in a year's time!

Radlett_blue added 16:58 - Jan 5
Bart to start - eat my shorts!

Radlett_blue added 17:01 - Jan 5
I'm not surprised that Mick was enamoured with West Ham's performance against Spurs last night.

therein61 added 17:06 - Jan 5
The biggest injuries our decent footballers have is broken hearts and spirit knowing full well that the proper blokes will play in front of them come hell or high water

jas0999 added 18:06 - Jan 5
... most if that injury list was known in August. Ward is new, but the rest have had ongoing issues or been out for a long while. Not bad luck. Injury prone players who on most occasions started the season injured. This is nothing new.

billlm added 18:47 - Jan 5
Injury's=running ourselves into the ground every week,if we let the ball do the work as in played football more our injury's would be less, a lot of our injuries are in training as that's high energy too

Swn98 added 19:25 - Jan 5
best we sgn billm up for the backroom team.

Seasider added 19:59 - Jan 5
Sarcasm again Swn regarding billm.Have you not heard the saying let the ball do the work?

I think it would certainly help if we had a bit more possession and forward momentum,as that way our players wouldn't be running around like 'blue arsed flies' for 75% of games

Swn98 added 21:01 - Jan 5
Only a suggestion Seasider.

shakytown added 22:59 - Jan 5
Sod off Mick and start playing football not hoofball. Now there's a suggestion Swn98.

Steve_ITFC_Sweden added 08:05 - Jan 6
As joggers will know, you can go quite a long way by running yourself into the ground week after week, but in the end you learn it's better to pace yourself. Top class players know they need effort, but they put the emphasis on skill. If you mostly emphasise effort over skill, you're always going to fall short against more skillful opponents. Part of our problem is that because of our bargain basement approach we've chanced on players with a history of injury (e.g. Huws). We may even have had some "bad luck" - all clubs do - but I just don't accept that this is the only reason for all our injuries. Maybe a review of our training methods is in order, despite what MM says?

Butcherboy added 10:38 - Jan 7
Spot on midastouch. First team don’t wear the GPS trackers so no data can be collected. It’s not just this season that ITFC has had a long injury list and it cannot be a coincidence: Mick and his methods must be in question. He needs to move with the times and acknowledge the sports science.

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