Lambert: One or Two Little Knocks Ahead of Owls Clash
Thursday, 31st Jan 2019 15:20
Town boss Paul Lambert says the Blues go into Saturday’s home game against Sheffield Wednesday with “one or two little knocks” but with no new significant injuries, while he played down the chances of Teddy Bishop starting against the Owls, despite netting a hat-trick as the U23s beat Millwall 5-0 on Monday.
“Not too bad, one or two little knocks from last weekend but we’re OK,” Lambert said when asked about the injury situation going into the match.
“Emyr Huws [who has had fluid on his calf] is doing OK but will miss this one.”
While agreeing Bishop didn’t do himself any harm by scoring his treble against the Lions, Lambert says he doesn’t read too much into U23s performances.
“No, but as I said before, there’s a big difference from playing U23s football and first-team football. There’s all aspects of it,” he said.
“I think Bishop’s a really, really good player, but has been out for 14 months or 15 months, which is a helluva long time.
“He’s never going to pick up his fitness over a three or four-week period. He’s doing really, really well, he’s not too far away from my thinking.
“I think there’s an incredible future for the club here with the young players that they’ve got.
“I’ve said it before and I’ll said it again, there’s a few of them in there that if we can keep them all together and they grow, there’s going to be a helluva group of young players here, that’s for sure.”
With Jack Lankester out of action for a few weeks with a back problem, Bishop could be viewed as an alternative given his ball-carrying ability.
“That’s the big thing he’s got,” he said. “I think he’s a really good ball carrier. I think he’s fit, as in playing and training every time, he’s not been in the treatment room, which is great. But he certainly does carry the ball really well. As I said before, he’s not far away from my thinking.”
Grant Ward is out for the season after rupturing his anterior cruciate knee ligament at QPR on Boxing Day and Lambert says the midfielder’s surgery went as planned.
“It went really well. Wardy is doing well so it’s just a matter of rehab with him, time, and see how he does with his rehab,” he said.
Lambert believes his January additions are getting sharper with every match: “I think that was evident last weekend that they were starting to find their feet, which was great, which I knew would happen anyway but I can’t fault the lads for their attitude or the way they’ve come down here and tried to put things right.”
Asked whether they were doing extra work with fitness coach Jim Henry or just relying on games to get them up to match fitness, he added: “A bit of both really, there’s a fine line between the balance of it and the condition of them. They’re getting a bit of everything, which is good.”
The Blues manager switched Dean Gerken for Bartosz Bialkowski in goal last week. Explaining that decision, he said: “The two lads have been in and out, two really good goalkeepers, not much in it at all.
“I needed Bart to be up to speed with things, Deano had done nothing wrong in the games but I decided to make the decision on that. Nothing other than that was the decision I made.”
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