Downes and Norwood Could Return to Town XI at Southend
Friday, 25th Oct 2019 11:23
Flynn Downes and James Norwood could return to the Blues’ starting line-up looking to return to winning ways at Southend United on Saturday.
Downes suffered a knock to his hip while away with the England U20s and has missed the last two games, although was back among the subs for the 2-0 home defeat by Rotherham on Wednesday.
Norwood came off the bench in that game having missed the loss at Accrington by the same scoreline on Sunday after undergoing groin surgery a fortnight ago.
Manager Paul Lambert says the striker has felt no negative reaction to his 23 minutes against the Millers.
“Not at the minute, no, so we'll see how he is this morning, as with the rest of the lads we'll see how they all feel this morning,” he said.
Lambert said on Wednesday he was close to starting Downes but didn’t want to take a risk with the 20-year-old.
“He was saying he got a hit in the hip which was when he felt it and he came off in the [England U20s] game.
“But he’s trained for the last few days so we’ll see how he is again this morning and we’ll judge him from there.”
Town have missed Downes’s combative approach in the last couple of matches and Lambert has been delighted with the way the Brentford-born academy product - ever-present in League One up until his injury - has started the campaign.
“He’s started the season brilliantly, he really has, he’s been excellent with his form,” the Blues boss enthused. “Going away with England is great for him, it gives him a different experience.
“The last two games people have said ‘This player’s out, that player’s out, that’s why we lost the game’. But that’s not the case because the guys that came in are really good players in their own right. We lost the games because collectively we weren’t good enough in the two games.
“Flynn coming back, it gives me a problem, do I put him back in or do I wait? But when he was in the team he was playing really, really well.”
Will Keane and Emyr Huws both started against Rotherham but seem unlikely to be in the XI at Roots Hall only three days later as they continue their comebacks from lengthy spells out.
Toto Nsiala and Andre Dozzell both started at Accrington but were subbed at half-time and then left out of the 18 against Rotherham.
Asked whether they’re still very much in the reckoning, Lambert said: “It was no slight on those two lads for coming off, it was just a decision I made to see if we could get back in the game.
“They’ll be a huge part of it going forward and I don't have any problem with the two of them being involved.”
Forward Armando Dobra is suspended having been red-carded at Accrington last Sunday.
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