Lambert: Couple of Knocks Ahead of Millwall as Huws Closes in On Return
Monday, 31st Dec 2018 15:45
Blues manager Paul Lambert says one or two players have knocks which need to be assessed going into the crunch New Year’s Day game at home to Millwall and revealed that midfielder Emyr Huws is closing in on a return after 13 months out with a knee injury.
“There's one or two little knocks there that we'll have to look at. Most of the lads are fine,” Lambert said when asked about injury problems going into Tuesday’s match.
Quizzed on Cole Skuse’s situation, the midfielder having undergone minor knee surgery which is expected to keep him out for around another month, Lambert said there is positive news on the Bristolian and revealed Huws is also making very good progress.
“Cole's doing great, really good,” he said. “Emyr Huws I think is not too far away. The problem you've got is, especially in Emyr's case, he's not played for over a year. Tom Adeyemi is the same, over a year. Bishop was two years.
“Cole is a bit different because he's only been out for a few weeks but he's doing great. The two of them are doing great and hopefully the two will be back sooner rather than later, so that's good news.
Lambert is weighing up whether to throw Huws, 25, into the first team squad without giving him an U23s game first.
“We might not have time to give him two or three games, that's the reality of it,” he reflected.
“He's in a good place at this minute in time. I think it's the best he's felt for a long, long time, which is great.
“He's a really good player, I've always liked him, the way he plays. He'll be a big plus if we can get him back. And Cole as well, the way he was performing before he went out the side.”
But Lambert was at pains to point out he won’t take gamble on the Wales international’s physical fitness: “I won't take the risk with him if I think his injury is still there. I'll take the risk if he's not match fit, as long as I know his knee's fine and everything's OK.
“I've got to be fair to Emyr as well. If he says he's feeling good with his knee, the only risk I'll take is with his match fitness.
“If we agree, we think it's right and as long as there's no risk to his health or his knee, then it's something I'll look at. I've always liked him as a footballer. We need him back, that's for sure.
“He’s got quality on the ball, he’s a good footballer and I want him back sooner rather than later.”
Asked how soon that might be, he added: “I don't know time-wise. If we can get through this week, if he can keep doing what he's doing and then come in to the Rotherham game, we'll have a look at it and see how he feels.”
Lambert says the potential return of Huws and Skuse doesn’t change his plans to bring in another more senior midfielder in January.
“No, like I said when something happened to Cole, I knew right away the club didn't have somebody like him,” he said. “I knew there wasn't that type of player at the football club.
“That's why I go back to why the squad was unbalanced, we never had a like-for-like. And I think if you go through that, it's a dangerous game to play, if you don't balance the squad out.
“You've got to have somebody that can play that role. Trevoh Chalobah has been absolutely unbelievable at it as well, but sometimes I think you restrict him because he's powerful as anything.
“I think Chalobah's been brilliant at it. But I think that type of player needs to be somebody a bit older than can see danger as well.”
Regarding Adeyemi, who underwent surgery on an achilles problem he suffered in pre-season having missed most of last season with a recurrent hamstring injury, he added: “Tom’s slightly behind Emyr coming back, he’ll be back in the early part of the year."
Joining the ranks of the long-term injured in recent days has been Grant Ward, who is expected to be out for at least nine months having suffered a ruptured cruciate knee ligament at QPR on Boxing Day.
“It’s a blow,” Lambert admitted. “It looked nothing as well. I thought it was his ankle at first and all of a sudden we found out after the game that it was a ACL, which is a blow.
“But thankfully these operations are not as bad as they used to be and hopefully he’ll be back.”
Also sidelined at present is loanee Tayo Edun, who is back at parent club Fulham having undergone surgery to his eye with his spell set to be ended early in January.
Lambert reiterated that there is no scope for the Janoi Donacien deal - which is currently a loan from Accrington before being made a long-term switch once his permanent leave to remain has been granted - to be revisited and says the St Lucian, who he views more as a centre-half than a right-back, has been unfortunate not to have had some involvement since he took over as manager at the end of October.
“No, I think it's been completed, it's done,” he said. “He's just found himself unlucky really because I can only pick 18 players. I just pick what I think can make an impact on and off the pitch.”
Lambert says Donacien and Nsiala have been kept out of the side by the form of skipper Luke Chambers and Matthew Pennington.
“They've been brilliant, they really have,” he continued. “I think they've formed a really good partnership there together. The two of them know exactly how we play, the two are very comfortable on the ball which is important to us. The form of the two has been really high.”
Please report offensive, libellous or inappropriate posts by using the links provided.
You need to login in order to post your comments
Blogs 270 bloggers
Euro Glory for Town by clivebleedingthomas
This was the season in which we had a realistic chance of winning the Treble - it sounds like complete fantasy now, but it happened. Our hopes of FA Cup glory had been finished, along with Kevin Beattie’s career as a Town player, at Villa Park.
Happy Highbury as Town Head to Wembley by clivebleedingthomas
As if going to an FA Cup semi-final was not stressful enough, I had added stress. I travelled on a Supporters Club coach, on board many families, including my father and my wife
Woods Wonder Strike Ends Deadlock by clivebleedingthomas
A sixth round FA Cup tie of greater length than most season's cup runs had begun almost three weeks earlier in front of the Portman Road record crowd of 38,010, a record that still stands.
Five Go To Town by clivebleedingthomas
A fixture that started as a mid-table game but ended as one that would be marked by having special T-shirts printed to commemorate it - this was the Demolition Derby.
Marcus on the Spot in Moscow by clivebleedingthomas
The first leg had been played in the three-sided Portman Road, with no North Stand. Circumstances that many fans thought contributed to our relegation that season.
Ipswich Town Polls
[ Vote here ]