Keane Set to Return Against Gills
Monday, 7th Oct 2019 14:57
Blues first-team coach Matt Gill says striker Will Keane is set to be involved in tomorrow’s Leasing.com Trophy tie against Gillingham at Portman Road having overcome the minor groin problem which has seen the former Hull City man miss the last two games.
Keane, 26, who rejoined the Blues on a permanent basis in August, travelled with the squad to the North-West ahead of Saturday’s game at Fleetwood with the squad spending Friday training at Manchester United’s old first team base, The Cliff.
“Hopefully so, he’s trained really well,” Gill said when asked if Keane would be involved on Tuesday. “He trained again today.
“He came with us on the trip because we were away for a couple of days so he got some good training into him and even on Saturday on the pitch as well, so we’ll be looking to involve Will at some point.
“Will’s obviously a fantastic player and we’re really chuffed that he’s back with us and we’re hoping that he can make a real impact starting from tomorrow.”
Keane’s renewed availability could have greater importance with James Norwood imminently set to undergo groin surgery, however, Gill says the club are hopeful the former Tranmere man will be back in time for the next League One game at Accrington a week on Sunday: “Probably a question for the medical staff, but hopefully so.”
Kane Vincent-Young also came off injured on Saturday with a groin problem and Town are waiting to discover the seriousness of the injury.
“He was struggling with his groin slightly,” Gill continued. “He’s had a scan today so we’re just waiting to hear the results of that, but hopefully that’s not too bad and I think he was quite professional in his approach to it all, coming off at half-time.
“A lot of players would probably have tried to carry on, so he’s done really well being professional and making sure he didn’t make it any worse, which is good.”
In the senior side for the first time this season - with manager Paul Lambert set to make wholesale changes - will be centre-half Toto Nsiala following the torn hamstring he suffered during the pre-season trip to Germany.
“It was unfortunate for Toto picking up that injury in pre-season,” Gill reflected. “He’s another one that’s worked particularly hard to get fit and remain fit and be ready for selection. I know he’s desperate to get involved.
“Toto’s one of many that are desperate to be part of the team on a Saturday like they all are.
“We’re very fortunate at the minute that the squad’s strong, everybody wants to be part of that winning team.
“They are part of the group, of course, but everybody wants to have that satisfaction on a Saturday night knowing that they’ve added some value to the team and Toto’s the same.”
“Obviously we’ve been playing three centre-halves of late, so having that strength in depth in that position is great, it gives us a little bit of flexibility.
“Obviously Woolfy’s come back and done great, I’ve been really impressed with Luke, so there’s a lot of competition for places all over.”
Jordan Roberts scored both goals as the Blues beat Tottenham’s U21s 2-1 in the previous Leasing.com Trophy match but the former Crawley man hasn’t even made the matchday 18 for the subsequent League One matches.
“Jordan’s been great. Like I said, he’s one of many that are desperate to get in that matchday team, “ Gill continued.
“He’s trained really well, you know exactly what you’re going to get from Robbo and he’s been like that day to day and will be waiting for his opportunity like many of them.”
Emyr Huws was another starter in that victory over Tottenham’s youngsters and seems likely to be in the XI against the Gills.
“Obviously, he came into the team and did really well,” Gill said. “He’s another one that will be looking for opportunities, although obviously we’re very strong in the middle of the pitch.
“The two boys have gone away with England, Dozzer and Flynn, they’ve done great, Flynn’s been tremendous this year, so there’s a lot of competition which is a great thing to have at the football club.”
Gill says the strength of the bench at Fleetwood, which included Huws, Alan Judge and Gwion Edwards, illustrates that competition.
“It can only be a good thing for Ipswich Town Football Club to have that competition for places, strength in depth. Hopefully that’s a good thing moving forward.”
Another player who will be hoping to get more of a chance in the first team going forward is on-loan Tottenham man Anthony Georgiou, who is unfortunate not to get a chance in Leasing.com Trophy games as he is away with Cyprus.
“He’s been great. Obviously he knows Kane from their time at Spurs together and he settled really quickly into the group,” Gill said. “It’s probably good that he knew Kane.
“He’s a really good lad, works extremely hard at his game and he’s made an impact coming off the bench so far.
“So he’s another one that will be desperate to try and get that start, that next step for him. As I say, there’s so much competition, that it’s tough at the minute.
“He’s a very technically-gifted player, coming from Spurs. He can play a number of positions, left-back, left wing, in the middle and maybe in behind.
"He’s one of those that can travel with the ball regardless of where he’s playing so there’ll be times this year when that’s going to be needed.”
Asked how difficult it is to keep people happy when they’re not in the team, Gill said: “I hope they’re not if I’m totally honest. You want players to be desperate to play.
“Obviously it’s a juggling act for the manager to make sure that each team’s as strong as it can be.
“We make players feel valued, that’s obviously very important and everybody will have a part to play this season, there’s going to be so many games. another one tomorrow, we’ve got the FA Cup coming up in November.
“It’s vital that they’re not too happy and they want to work hard and get into the team and keep their place once they get it.”
Gill confirmed that Armando Dobra and Idris El Mizouni will be involved before travelling for international duty with Albania's U19s and Tunisia, while fellow youngsters Tyreece Simpson and Corrie Ndaba will also be involved.
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