Lambert: I've Never Gone Into a Season With So Many Injuries
Friday, 2nd Aug 2019 12:12
Town boss Paul Lambert joked that he was going to take a look at the club’s U3s, U4s and U5s sides before picking his team for Saturday’s League One opener at Burton Albion given the number of injuries currently afflicting his squad.
Midfielders Jon Nolan (calf) and Gwion Edwards (groin) are both still on the way back from problems they suffered last season and won’t be involved at the Pirelli Stadium.
“No, no chance,” the Blues manager said. “They've been out for months already with last season's injuries. They're still not ready so that it what it is.
"They’re doing fine running-wise now they're doing well on that, but they're not ready for this.”
During pre-season Town lost Teddy Bishop for three months with a knee injury, Tristan Nydam to a broken ankle for six, while Jack Lankester suffered a reaction to the back problem which sidelined him last season.
However, Lambert was more frustrated by Toto Nsiala’s hamstring strain which will see the central defender uninvolved for around six weeks.
“The one that's probably getting me the most is Toto's one,’ He reflected. “Bishop's I can put up with because it's a contact injury.
“Nolan’s was last season, Gwion's was last season, Freddie's last season and Jack's last season, so those ones I can put up with, it's the Toto one that's been the most disappointing.”
He says he’s not known a situation where he has gone into a season with so many players out injured, while skipper Luke Chambers is also out of Saturday’s game as he is banned after being sent off on the final day against Leeds.
“No, I haven't, nothing like this at all,” he recalled. “Like I said before, when you finish a season you expect people to come back fit and that lads haven't been fit.”
Lambert says left-back Myles Kenlock is fine having been ill last weekend, but Jordan Roberts is also now on the sidelines.
“He’s OK. Jordan Roberts got injured at Colchester and he’s not done anything since then, so we’ll have to see,” he continued.
Alan Judge played his first game of pre-season at Cambridge last week having suffered a broken wrist while away with the Republic of Ireland last month.
Lambert says the 30-year-old is unaffected by the interest in him from QPR but is undecided whether he can start yet due to his lack of matches.
“He's totally fine, the only thing Judgey lacks is probably game time, everything else is fine, so there's no problem there," he said.
“I don’t know [whether he’s in contention to start], we’ve got that many injuries. I’ve got to see if the U3s are fit, see if I can take an U3 up.”
Does he know the team he’ll field against the Brewers? “Once I’ve seen the U4s and U5s play, I’m looking at them this morning to decide whether they’re fit!”
Pre-season has had some good news with Emyr Huws having played throughout and having managed a first-team 90 minutes for the first time since the final day of 2016/17.
“He’s doing really well, Emyr,” Lambert added. “That’s a long time not playing 90 minutes, a helluva long time. But he’s doing really, really well. The secret is to keep him fit but the lad is in a good place at the minute.
“He’s a really good footballer, really good, just needs that game, game, that game scenario for himself.
“I don’t know [if he’s ready to start], we’ll decide. But he’s done really well in pre-season, I’m happy with him.”
Winger Danny Rowe returned from his loan spell at Lincoln in the summer and seems set to get his chance with the Blues this season having impressed his manager.
“He's been excellent, really good,” Lambert enthused. “I think he's playing with a lot of confidence at the minute, so it's whether I play him in behind the strikers and the other options we have, but he's playing really well.”
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