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Norwood Back Training and Fit for Gillingham Trip
Friday, 20th Sep 2019 11:17

Striker James Norwood is set to be fit to face Gillingham at the Priestfield Stadium on Saturday, despite limping off in the 35th minute of Tuesday’s 1-0 win away against the MK Dons.

Speaking to the media this morning Norwood declared himself fit and ready to play his part against the Gills.

“It’s OK, I’m training today, fit for selection for tomorrow so things are looking good. It’s all settled down well,” he said.

“It’s something I’ve been carrying, it just had a little bit too much on Tuesday but I’m good to go.”

Asked about Norwood’s confidence that he’ll be fit and able to play against Gillingham at his press conference, manager Paul Lambert added: “He seems to be. I’ll see how everybody else is, I’ll see how they all are this morning and see if there’s any reaction to Tuesday night.”

Quizzed on whether he was worried when he saw his five-goal top scorer hobble off on Tuesday, the Blues boss said: “I’ve seen players come off before in early parts of the game and then they’re fit on the Saturday.

“It all depends on that given moment and that given time and hopefully it’s not too serious. He’ll train this morning and then we’ll judge it from there like we normally do.”
Might the injury, which Norwood has had since his Tranmere days, be something that has to be managed over the season?
“That might be the case,” Lambert concurred. “We’ll have to have a look at it and maybe curtail training or certain games or whatever it is. We’ll see how it is, and we’ll have plenty of dialogue from now until then.”
Norwood was replaced by Will Keane at Stadium MK with the former Hull City man getting 50 minutes of first-team football under his belt.

However, Lambert says Keane, who underwent hamstring surgery early in the summer, isn’t yet ready to start matches.

“No, I don’t think so," he continued. "I think that’s a big ask because of the amount of time Will’s been out.

“There’s a few of them there where it was their first 90 minutes for a good time, so we’ll see how they are this morning, and I’ll decide from there.”

The other players involved the other night in a similar position to Keane were Luke Garbutt, who had been out for a month with a knee injury, Jon Nolan, making his first league start since April after a calf injury, and Emyr Huws, who was starting his first league game since the final day of the 2016/17 season having been out with knee problems.
“The lads haven’t played and two games in a week is hard going,” Lambert added. “But listen, the lads are totally fine and they’re ready to go, the team’s going really well so I’ll decide.”

He says Tuesday’s first league start was a big step for Huws: “Massive, I think psychologically it was huge for him. I’m delighted with his performance, he set up the goal with a terrific cross.

“At the time I thought it was Garbutt that crossed it but it was Emyr, so I’m really happy with him and how he performed.

“The secret is to keep him fit and contributing, whether it’s off the bench or starting games I think it’s great for him.”

Lambert is pleased that so many of the sidelined senior players are involved again: “The pleasing thing is the ones that are coming back are big players, which is important.

“I said eight weeks ago sitting at Burton with three young kids on the bench that it was never enough, never in a million years was it enough, and it’s been proven right.

“That was the case because we’ve utilised every player to come back, and every player has performed, so that’s the pleasing thing.”

Also back after injury is young striker Ben Folami, who has featured for the U23s having been out since January with a torn achilles. However, Lambert says the Australian U19 international faces a battle to get into the first-team frame given the side’s current form.
“It’s tough, the team is going well, and the lad had a really bad injury as well,” he reflected.

“Ben has trained with us a couple of times and he’s doing really well, but there’s no pressure from me or anybody at the club to rush him back.”

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Terry_Nutkins added 11:47 - Sep 20
As important as he i think dont risk him. Have him on bench and sit Judge in behind Jackson. With Nolan as well there should be plenty of goal threat.

rfretwell added 11:50 - Sep 20
Amazing recovery by Nors. What's his secret??? He's been thrown around in the wrestling too!

midastouch added 12:40 - Sep 20
Great news. My heart sunk when he went down injured while listening to the radio commentary Tuesday night. Really glad to hear it's nothing too serious although I gathered it couldn't of been too bad after watching a short clip of his wrestling video on Twitter. He nearly set up Jackson with a goal on Tuesday, after a brilliant tackle from Skuse, so even when he's not scoring he's still creating chances so good to have him back asap.
If he's not fit enough to start on Saturday hopefully he will be fine for Tranmere as I'm taking my lad to see that game for his birthday and he's never seen Norwood play before and is really excited to see him properly for the first time. So hoping he'll be able to work some magic for us not only this Saturday (if he's fit enough) but next Saturday too. COYB!!! Time for Norwood to body slam the Gills and his old chums from Tranmere!

LegendofthePhoenix added 07:21 - Sep 21
Roberts and Jackson to start, Keane and Norwood on bench. Dozzell also to start.

ThaiBlue added 07:22 - Sep 21
if he can wrestle he can play football,need him up front as i dont think keane is nowhere good enough to replace him.good luck to the boys on saturday.

WhoisJimmyJuan added 09:06 - Sep 21
Is it just coincidence that suddenly the players are all becoming fit and injuries are healing more quickly? Is that just because we're winning games and the club is a happier place under Lambo? Or were there issues under McCarthorse and Paul Worst?

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