Collins and Chalobah Doubts for West Brom Trip
Thursday, 7th Mar 2019 14:55
Town boss Paul Lambert says James Collins and Trevoh Chalobah are doubts ahead of Saturday’s game at West Brom with the injuries they suffered during the first half of last weekend’s 2-1 defeat to Reading. Better news is that Jonas Knudsen is back from his one-match ban, while Ellis Harrison is closing in on a return after his hamstring injury.
“He’s a doubt, obviously, we’ll see how he is tomorrow,” Lambert said when asked about Collins, who picked up a calf problem before being replaced five minutes before the break against the Royals.
“It’s frustrating. It’s frustrating for the lad himself. I think that’s the big thing as a footballer when you keep getting little knocks and you can’t get over them, it becomes frustrating.”
Might the ex-West Ham man also be a doubt for Tuesday’s game at Bristol City? “I don’t know, we’ll have to wait and see. We’re just monitoring him over the next few days.”
If Lambert sticks with the back three he has used in recent games then Knudsen could come straight back into the team having impressed his manager at the heart of the defence.
“He did well at it,” Lambert added. “I know there was obviously the sending off [at Wigan] but I think the times he’s been there, he’s given us a balance with his left foot. He’s back in contention, so we’ll see. We’ve got two games in a few days, so we’ll see.”
Lambert says the illness bug which has hit the squad over the last few weeks has now gone but Trevoh Chalobah remains a doubt with the thigh problem he suffered at the weekend
“Trevoh, we’ll see how he is, he got a strain last weekend and I had to take him off, so we’ll see how he feels. Whether this one is too early for him or the Bristol City game, I’ll have to look at that.”
Regarding Harrison, who has been sidelined with a hamstring injury, he said: “He’s doing OK, he feels better today so we’ll see how he is. He’s in a better place than he was a week or so ago.”
Loanee left-back Callum Elder is making progress also having been out for a number of games.
“He did it a few weeks ago, it’s kind of around his hip area,” Lambert explained. “I think it was a challenge and it just knocked him back a little bit. He’s doing OK Callum, he’s doing alright. He’s not too far away but this one’s too early.”
The Town boss says striker Will Keane is also making progress with his hamstring injury although is a few weeks away from a return yet.
“He’s doing alright, he’s doing better. The frustrating thing for us is that he’s never really done a muscle injury, this is his first one.
“I go back to it, when you bring in loans you’re bringing in players who haven’t played many games.
“I think Will played five games from August to December, that’s an incredibly low amount of games, so you always run that risk with it.
“I think he’s just frustrated because he’s never really had a muscle injury, he’s had knee injuries, but he’s never really had a muscle injury so he can’t really compare it with anything.
“But he’s doing alright, again the international break will help him recover and he can’t play against Hull City anyway, so they’re three weeks he’s going to miss, which might help us.”
The Blues boss says he may have to rotate his squad during the upcoming three games in eight days.
“I think there’s a lot of lads have played a lot of games and a lot of lads who have played fewer games, so we have to look at that and I think that’s important for the club going forward,” he said.
“Too many lads have played a helluva lot of games and one or two lads have hardly played, so it’s a balancing act. But with two games in a matter of a few days, I’ll look at that.”
Lambert says winger Gwion Edwards could be in line for a start having made an impact from the bench in the last couple of weeks.
“He’s done great, I thought he did really well last week and I thought he did really well at Wigan when he came on, so he’ll be in my thinking,” he continued. “He’s playing well, I think he’s playing well.”
Meanwhile, midfielder Tristan Nydam is also currently sidelined with a back problem having returned from his loan at St Johnstone in January.
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