Lambert Waiting on Downes, Vincent-Young and Norwood Ahead of Accrington Trip
Wednesday, 16th Oct 2019 15:11
Town boss Paul Lambert says Flynn Downes, Kane Vincent-Young and James Norwood will be monitored in the days ahead of Sunday’s live Sky game at Accrington Stanley (KO noon).
Downes suffered a hip knock while playing for England’s U20s on Monday, while Vincent-Young hurt his groin at Fleetwood 10 days ago and Norwood underwent groin surgery in Germany early last week.
Regarding Vincent-Young, he said: “He’s doing OK, we’ve got another few days to go, so we’ll see how he is. We’ll give him right up until Saturday.”
If the former Colchester man doesn’t make it then would Lambert be happy for Gwion Edwards to start at right wing-back? “He’s done great Gwion. He did well when he came on at Fleetwood. I don’t have a problem with Gwion playing winger or wing-back because I know exactly what I’ll get from him.”
The Blues manager says Downes is making progress: “He’s better this morning, again like the other lads, he’s got a few days still to get back to fitness. We’ve three games in six days and we’ll see how everybody is.
“He’s done great, he’s set a standard where he’s been really, really good and he deserves to play for England [U20s], the way he’s been performing.
“He and Andre played in the same midfield, which was great. His level has been extremely high.”
Downes is one of only two players to start every League One game this season along with Cole Skuse but Lambert says there is no need to rush the 20-year-old back given the wealth of options he has in central midfield.
“No, I'll see how he is in the next few days or so, I've still got a few days to see how he feels,” he continued.
“But it's not one where maybe last season or at the start of this season where you thought if you lose him, then you're never quite sure [who you’d bring in], but in this moment it's a blow, but it's not what it would have been.”
“But when Emyr played against Gillingham and MK Dons he played a really good game and could count himself unlucky he found himself not playing.
“The big thing for me is Emyr playing three games in a week - can he do it? I don't know. It's a big ask. We have to watch him with it, but talent-wise it's a big talent.”
Norwood underwent the surgery on a nerve problem in his groin only just over a week ago but the expectation was that the former Tranmere man would be available for the trip to the Crown Ground.
“It was [a success], he’s still a bit tender at the minute but again he’s another one we’ve still got another few days to see how he feels.”
Lambert felt the injury was hampering the five-goal frontman: “I think he was compensating with controlling the ball, I think he was taking the ball with is wrong foot at certain times to try and protect it.
“I think pushing off was one aspect as well but Norwood being Norwood, if you're getting him at 70 or 80 per cent he's a handful. The break came at the right time for him to try and get him back to 100 per cent really.”
He added: “He's all or nothing, James. I don't think there's anything in between. He's robust and plays and plays and plays and wants to play every game.
“He's done brilliantly for us since he's been here, so hopefully once this settles down and he's back to what he was I'm pretty sure he'll be in a better place for it.”
Asked whether Norwood might be more likely to make it back for the Rotherham home game next Wednesday, he added: "I don't know, James being James if he's fit he'll want to play, and that's the beauty about him, for something to keep him out it's going to have to be something pretty serious that he can't."
If Norwood doesn't make it then Will Keane is his likely replacement, the former Hull man having played the full 90 minutes and scored against the Gills last week.
Regarding the longer-term injured, the Blues boss says Teddy Bishop is still some way off a return from the knee injury he suffered in pre-season: “He’s nowhere near it. He’s doing great but he’s nowhere near.”
Town will be without James Wilson, who is suspended for one game following his red card at Fleetwood.
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