Lambert: Vincent-Young Injury a Blow, One or Two Niggles Ahead of Coventry Cup Tie
Friday, 29th Nov 2019 14:56
Blues boss Paul Lambert admits Kane Vincent-Young’s absence for 12 weeks having undergone adductor surgery on Tuesday is a blow but says the former Colchester man’s absence is somebody else’s gain. Lambert says “one or two” of his squad are carrying niggles ahead of Sunday’s FA Cup second round tie against Coventry City at St Andrew’s, while Flynn Downes is back in training after his illness and Jordan Roberts is closing in on a return to the first team.
“It’s a blow, without a doubt because of the way he was playing,” he said of Vincent-Young. “But you’ve got to get your head around it really quickly. It’s somebody else’s gain. That’s football, I guess.”
Vincent-Young, 23, underwent hernia surgery in Doha, Qatar three weeks ago before going under the knife again in London for his latest problem earlier this week.
Asked how the Doha link came about, Lambert added: “The surgeon could have done it in London, but he was in Qatar at that time, so that was the reason he went there.
“To be fair, there was no real difference between London and Qatar. It was just that the surgeon was over there. But it’s your assets welfare, so thankfully [owner] Marcus [Evans] agreed for him to go and get sorted.”
With Vincent-Young out until late February, might he look at bringing in a replacement right-back in January? “I don’t know. It depends how we’re doing, and it depends on who is doing and who is not doing well, so that will come into my thinking.”
Lambert ruled out suggestions that he could re-sign Grant Ward, who was released in the summer but remains at the club, due to the former Tottenham man being able to play that role in addition to a number of others: “No, not really. That’s not my thinking that one.”
Cole Skuse has also played at right-back during his career, mainly in his early says at Bristol City, but Lambert says the midfielder switching to that role isn’t something he has considered.
“I don’t know, it’s not something I’ve really thought because Janoi is going really really well, so I’ll wait and see once we really get into the swing of it and know where we are then I’ll decide,” he said.
Lambert confirmed that midfielder Flynn Downes is back in training following his midweek illness and will be assessed tomorrow.
“Flynn has had a virus but he trained this morning," he said. "He’s another one we will have to look at before I decide on the squad and the team.”
Regarding other players who have been out with injuries recently, he says Brett McGavin, who picked up a knock in the FA Cup replay win at Lincoln, is now training again having played for the U23s earlier in the week.
“He’s okay, he’s fine,” Lambert continued. “He’s trained with us for the last few days, and as I say Brett’s done really well in the last couple of times he’s played, he got the little knock at Lincoln, but since then he’s been training, so he’s been fine.”
Forward Jordan Roberts also played 60 minutes for the U23s on Monday having recovered from his toe injury and Lambert says he will be in his thoughts for a return to his squad but hinted that Wednesday’s Leasing.com Trophy tie at Peterborough might be more likely for the 25-year-old.
“Jordan will come into my thinking between now and Wednesday,” he said. “And I’ll decide from there. We’re going to try and win a cup tie on Sunday, and hopefully, we can try and get through.”
Ben Folami suffered a groin problem while away in China with the Australian U23s but Lambert says the striker is also back training.
“He got a knock when he went away with Australia,” he said. “He’s back training, but again I’ll decide a squad tomorrow.
“He’s done really well but he’s only a kid still learning. It’s a big onus on that. I’ve said before, I don’t want kids to think it’s just a gift, they’ve got to earn the right, and we’ll see how he is.”
Lambert says Toto Nsiala, who is still working his way back after suffering a hamstring injury in pre-season, could be involved against the Sky Blues.
“I’ll see how he is,” he said. “Again, he’s trained really well and he looks better. It took him a little bit of time to get up to speed, but in the last few weeks in training he’s been looking quite good.”
The Blues boss hopes the former Shrewsbury man can push the three first-choice centre-halves for their places going forward.
“That’s the aim for any player, to force your way in the team,” he added. “But Toto is definitely looking a lot sharper.”
Also among those who could be involved at St Andrew’s are Will Keane and Emyr Huws, who have slowly worked their way back from their injuries in the opening months of the season.
Asked if they’re moving towards getting to the top of their game now, Lambert said: “I think they’re getting there. I think the two of them are in quite a good place.
“Emyr is definitely in a really good place now after everything that’s been going on. Will I think is getting better, he’s a terrific footballer with great feet, so we need to look at Will as well.”
Regarding any other niggles or knocks going into Sunday, he added: “We’ve got one or two that are carrying little things at the minute, so we’ll see how we are.“
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