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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.
Could Norwood start against the Shrimpers? “I don't know because he's a unique guy that way. I don't know. I'll have a chat with him and see how he feels.”

Lambert said on Wednesday he was close to starting Downes but didn’t want to take a risk with the 20-year-old.
“He seems alright, he trained yesterday,” Lambert said when asked about the midfielder’s fitness. “Any problems I'm sure I'll find out shortly.

“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.
“They're getting better, that's the great thing about the two of them,” Lambert added. “It's just that matter of seeing how those lads feel and how quickly they can regroup and get the intensity back.”

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.”
Loanee winger Anthony Georgiou came off the bench in the second half on Wednesday and again made an impact. Has he got the Cyprus international in mind for his first Blues start? “I'll decide. I've got a lot of options there. Every time he's come off the bench he's done well for us.”

Forward Armando Dobra is suspended having been red-carded at Accrington last Sunday.

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Steve_ITFC_Sweden added 11:29 - Oct 25
Let's hope so. We need a bit more bite.

Dissboyitfc added 11:46 - Oct 25
give Giogio a start we need to hit teams hard from the first min until the last! He has looked amatch winner every time he comes on. Had the same problems when we had Celina, Why not start these type of player? His class will shine at southend, there shaky defence wont be able to cope with his trickery and skill.

Really missed Downes and his bite in midfield, basically we were bullied in there!

TractorBoyOlly added 11:59 - Oct 25
Any news on Sears and Bishop? I thought Sears was due back November?

londontractorboy57 added 14:49 - Oct 25
I think the 2 players mentioned were the missing link for the last two games.
IMHO thats why fans should not get to involved with the player rotation argument there are many reasons why players miss games.

Girthyguy added 16:26 - Oct 25
Can't see Sears being ready to play any part in first team until January at the earliest Olly. We really do miss him tbh.

ITFCsince73 added 18:28 - Oct 25
Although Sears returning can’t come soon enough.
Bishop, Lancs and Morris are our future.
But all those 4 when fit, are Championship standard with regards to experience and ability.
Hopefully all 4 will be like new signings come Xmas and the new year.
And what fantastic signings they will be.

L1 think we have a strong squad now....

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