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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.”

Photo: TWTD

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Radlett_blue added 16:02 - Dec 31
Chambers & Pennington have been "brilliant", although we have conceded more goals than any other club in this league. Hmm...

ArnieM added 16:06 - Dec 31
Who the fluck is Huws?

cat added 16:16 - Dec 31
So our centre halves have been brilliant, must say that’s the first comment PL has made that’s really pished me off proper. Starting to think P.L has become a victim of his own ultra positive outlook.

Pecker added 16:17 - Dec 31
Think PL is trying to show the squad that he has confidence in them. We are going to need some serious strengthening in January, but I don't blame him for trying to tell the others they are in his plans.

CavendishBlue added 16:30 - Dec 31
Chambers Brilliant.No .He's a talisman captain alright and does the clappy chatty stuff like Matt Holland used to do .

Luke Wolfenden should be recalled as nobody I know understands after how comfortable he looked in pre season against Wet Sham, PH let him on loan for Nsiala and Dalorian.

Guthrum added 16:34 - Dec 31
We might have conceded a whole lot more goals if Chambers and Pennington hadn't been on form.

martin587 added 16:41 - Dec 31
Most of the damage done to Town is down both wings,this is where the real weakness is.Ok,Chambers is not the best and certainly not the quickest but he is trying to do his job as well as cover the terrible defending of both Full backs.
Let’s just wait and see who Paul can draft in and then hopefully we will see a vast difference.Chambers is an excellent leader and I fear at the Present time the young players would suffer should he be left out of the team.

Bert added 16:59 - Dec 31
I see it differently to most. Chambers may not be the quickest but with Pennington it is not a bad partnership. The goals we are shipping come mainly from poor defending by Knudsen and Spence. Ok, it's for the centre backs to deal with them but they shouldn't be flying into our penalty area in the first place. Chambers in my opinion is needed. Wolfenden will be his replacement in time and the guy showed great promise pre season but we are now into the rough stuff of the championship that some of our youngsters are just not tough enough to deal with yet. Huws when fit will make a difference.

positivity added 17:03 - Dec 31
pl needs to take the blinkers off, watch the videos of donacien playing at cb and rb this season, then watch spence at rb. he seems to have made a snap decision and won't relent on it, worrying signs of mick-ism...

Woodbridgian added 00:22 - Jan 1
Positivity: don’t disagree with your view on Spence but have no idea what videos your talking about that would show Donacien in a positive light? Hopelessly out of his depth at this level I would say. Taking him and putting Emanuel out on loan another gem from the idiot Hurst.

ITFCsince73 added 13:12 - Jan 1
Arnie m. Huws is someone who,s taken over half a million pounds in wages from our club and repaid nothing.

ITFCsince73 added 13:15 - Jan 1
Chambers, Pennington not a bad partnership?
Results/table says totally different.

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