Chambers a Doubt as Illness Hits Blues
Thursday, 18th Oct 2018 15:40
Town boss Paul Hurst has revealed that illness has hit the Blues’ Playford Road training ground during the international break with skipper Luke Chambers a doubt ahead of Saturday’s home game against QPR due to the bug, while another player is a concern due to an injury picked up in training.
“There’s a little bit of illness floating around,” Hurst said at lunchtime’s pre-match press conference. “It’s that time of year. I think the lads had their flu jabs at the right time but it’s not just that.
“A lot of the U23s lads [including Barry Cotter] seem to have picked it up and clearly we’re all in a building together and it’s always a concern when something like that occurs because I can be sat here speaking saying we’re OK and then you’re never quite sure, it might be Saturday morning where somebody rolls in and you think, ‘They’re not right’.
“We’re just keeping our fingers crossed on that that we don’t lose anyone to illness.”
Regarding skipper Chambers, he added: “He’s had a little bit of illness. I don’t need to tell you that he’s one that will put his hand up and he’ll be available, it’s just whether he’s 100 per cent and right to go.
“That’ll be something that we’ll look at tomorrow in more detail but he’s got his antibiotics in and hopefully they’ll have the desired effect.”
Hurst says there is one new injury concern: “We’ve had one in training and it’ll be decided tomorrow whether or not they’re fit to play. We’re hopeful certainly, but it’s just a little bit of a scare that we need to check on in the morning.
The Blues manager says left-back Jonas Knudsen is fine, despite suffering a knock on the head late on during Denmark’s 2-0 friendly victory over Austria on Tuesday.
The 26-year-old was dropped at Swansea a fortnight ago, a decision Hurst says he took professionally.
“He’s fine, he trained today,” he added. “I think it was his fifth cap he won, which was great for Jonas, he’s been involved in a lot of squads.
“But in terms of his reaction [to being dropped], I think he came on at half-time and showed he was focused. I wouldn’t expect anything less than that realistically because if he’s anything different he lets himself down first and foremost and then his team-mates.
“But he was professional in his approach and contributed to getting that victory. Again, that’s part and parcel of being a footballer, you’re very lucky if you find yourself in the team every single week.”
Midfielder Trevoh Chalobah dropped out of the England U20s squad due to a dead leg but is fine for Saturday.
“He’s good,” Hurst continued. “I think he would have pushed himself it was the end of the season and the last game he was going to take part in but I think a little of being sensible from England’s point of view and the player. But he’s trained this week and he’s ready to go.”
Andre Dozzell was called into the England squad as a result of Chalobah's injury and played 80 minutes of the 1-1 draw in the Czech Republic on Monday but Hurst doesn’t think that will impact on whether the 19-year-old is able to start on Saturday.
“We only had him back in today because of being away,” he said. “The initial thoughts were they were only to have him for training but with Trevoh dropping out and injuries elsewhere at different levels they decided to keep him and I was more than happy with that.
“I was pleased that he got some more minutes in his legs. He’s come in today, seems fine, seems in a good place and I think like the rest of the players is raring to go and get back into action from what’s seemed like a long, long time since we had that victory at Swansea.”
He added: “As I said, he trained this morning and looked good. He seems in good spirits as well. I never really get the feeling that Andre struggles with confidence, he’s just been more frustrated that he hasn’t been able to play more minutes sooner.
“I’ll probably have a conversation with him but from what I’ve seen he looks in a good place and hopefully that’s the case.”
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