Nolan Could Return Against Former Club Shrewsbury
Friday, 30th Aug 2019 11:08
Jon Nolan could return to the Town squad facing his old side Shrewsbury at Portman Road tomorrow, while Will Keane may be involved in Tuesday’s Leasing.com Trophy game against Tottenham’s U21s along with some of the players who will be away on international duty.
Midfielder Nolan, who joined the Blues from the Shrews in the summer of 2018 along with Toto Nsiala, who is currently out with a hamstring injury, is yet to play this season due to the calf problem he suffered at the end of the last campaign.
Lambert says he has no new injury problems to contend with going into the match: “No, we seem to be OK, everybody’s come through it OK. Most of the lads are getting there. It’s a lot stronger.”
Regarding Nolan, he added: “He’s done really well, he did well last Friday against Leeds, for the U23s, he did well in training during the week, so we’ll see how he is [for Saturday].”
Asked whether the Liverpudlian has more of a chance of being involved against the Spurs youngsters, Lambert said: “I’ll throw a few of them in for the Tuesday game. We’ll monitor him and see how he feels.”
The Blues manager confirmed that Will Keane won’t be involved in today’s U23s game at Birmingham - “No, not this afternoon” - but the striker could also play against Tottenham’s U21s as he works onhis match fitness having undergone hamstrong surgery at the start of the summer.
“I’ll see how he is in the next few days, I’m not decided yet,” Lambert continued. “We’ve got to monitor Will and see how he feels. He’s an experienced lad so I’ll have a chat with him.”
Lambert says discussions are ongoing regarding delaying Anthony Georgiou, Armando Dobra and Idris El Mizouni joining up with their international squads - Cyprus, Albania's U19s and Tunisia’s U23s respectively - for the Leasing.com Trophy match.
Town are also talking to Tottenham about Georgiou, who is on loan at Portman Road from the North London club, regarding his availability against his parent club.
“We spoke to their managers, there’s still a wee bit of to-ing and fro-ing on the kids at the minute,” Lambert said. “We’ll hopefully get some solution over the next 48 hours.”
Regarding Nsiala, who suffered his hamstring injury in pre-season, Lambert says the centre-half isn’t too far away from a return.
“He’s doing great, he trained with us this morning, but obviously he’s not played any games or anything like that. But he’s back with us, which is great,” he said.
Will he continue his rotation policy at centre-half once Nsiala is back? “I have to be fair. It could be 60 games and we need everybody to be fit to play.
“It doesn’t matter – I’ve left everybody out just to give others game time – but if Toto is fit it’s a massive asset for us.
“I think it’s great that he’s coming back. He’s a big, strong, powerful lad who does great defending-wise. I’m happy that he’s training with us.
Freddie Sears has returned to straight-line running this week as he continues his comeback from his ACL injury.
“He’s been really positive, Freddie, every day he comes in and as I’ve said before it’s a terrible injury to get,” Lambert said.
“He was playing so well for us but he’s doing really well and I’m very pleased with his progress.”
Will the striker need a mini-pre-season to get up to speed, with his first-team return having been pencilled in for November.
“Listen, you can’t just say you’re fit and expect to walk straight into the team. He’s going to need a little bit of TLC, looking after and game time,” Lambert reflected.
“It’s still a long way for him to go but the great thing is that he can see the light at the end of the tunnel, where he thinks he can get back.
Lambert says Teddy Bishop, who suffered a knee injury in pre-season, is also making good progress with his return expected in October.
“He’s alright. Bish is okay,” he added. “He’s doing well and I think he’s in a good place. There’s a whole good feeling around the football club at the minute.”
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