Nolan: Toto's Champing at the Bit
Monday, 7th Oct 2019 14:26
Midfielder Jon Nolan says his friend and team-mate Toto Nsiala is champing at the bit to get back into first-team action following a frustrating few months on the sidelined with injury.
The central defender suffered a torn hamstring in pre-season and is set to make his return in Tuesday’s Leasing.com Trophy tie against Gillingham at Portman Road having played three U23s matches.
“I don’t know the team on Tuesday but I’m sure he’ll play a part,” Nolan said after Saturday’s game at Fleetwood.
“He’s been looking well in training and I’m sure he’ll be champing at the bit to get back in the team and when he does I’m pretty sure he’ll perform as well.”
He added: “It’s never easy being injured but he’s still always got a smile on his face every day, he’s happy to see the lads winning and I’m sure when he’s called upon he’ll do a job.”
In Nsiala’s absence skipper Luke Chambers, Luke Woolfenden and James Wilson have made impressive starts to the season but with the former Lincoln and Sheffield United man set to miss Town’s next League One game at Accrington a week on Sunday due to his red card at Fleetwood, the former Shrewsbury man could make his first league appearance of the campaign.
A win against the Gills would seal the Blues’ place in the next round of a competition which Nolan says he likes having reached the final with Shrewsbury along with Nsiala in 2018 - where they lost 1-0 to a Lincoln side featuring the on-loan Danny Rowe - before the pair followed their former boss Paul Hurst to Ipswich that summer.
“It’s a good competition. I went to the final with Shrewsbury,” the 27-year-old recalled. “The beginning games against the U21s teams, they’re one of them really, I wouldn’t say they’re not enjoyable but you’ve just got to get through them.
“We did a professional job when we played against [Tottenham’s U21s] and hopefully we can the three points on Tuesday and secure a place in the next round.”
Can a run in the competition have a negative impact on a club’s league form? “Possibly, maybe because I think we did run out of steam at the end [at Shrewsbury]. But I don’t know, it just shows how strong the squad is.
“The gaffer’s obviously going to make changes for Tuesday and the squad’s good enough to win that game comfortably, the squad’s big enough to cope.”
He says Hurst similarly made changes in the early stages before fielding a stronger team as the competition progressed: “Not until the later rounds, the quarters and beyond.”
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