Bennetts Out For Several Weeks
Friday, 18th Dec 2020 10:23
Winger Keanan Bennetts will be out for a few weeks with the groin injury he suffered against Burton Albion on Tuesday. Manager Paul Lambert says he will again have to "dip into the younger age group" when the Blues travel to Peterborough on Saturday.
Asked whether the on-loan Borussia Mönchengladbach man, who scored his first senior goal against the Brewers, would be fit for the trip to face Posh, Lambert said: “He’ll miss it, he’s got a little groin problem. It’s just another one. It’ll surprise me when we don’t get an injury, I think that’s the best way to look at it now.
“It’s a crazy time at the minute. But, as I say, we’re two points off the top, we’re really, really under-resourced at the minute injury-wise, so I’m happy on that aspect, happy with the way we’re fighting, which is good. As I said before, we just need to get those guys back fit.”
Lambert says the former Tottenham youngster is set to miss a number of games: “No, he won’t be back for that, I think he’ll be a few weeks.”
The Blues boss says the 21-year-old has added something to his side and has got better the more he has played.
“Speed, he’s really dynamic and he’s not played a lot of games for Gladbach, but he’s got speed and he’s dynamic, which I think is evident when you look at explosive players,” he said.
“I think he’s done well, the more minutes he’s got under his belt, he’s started to do well and it’s just unfortunate what’s happened, really, really unfortunate because the more Keanan plays, the better he becomes and he’s definitely explosive.”
Bennetts said last week he was getting nearer to the top of his game.
“That’s what it felt like," Lambert concurred. "I think that was evident with the way he’d been playing.
“Even against Plymouth when he came on I thought he changed the dynamic of the game. I thought that was a good moment for him as well. The more game time he was getting, the better he was becoming.”
Midfielder Jon Nolan suffered a knock in the Portsmouth game and missed Burton’s visit as a result and will again be absent at the weekend.
“He’s doing OK, but this one will be too early for him,” he said. “I don’t know how he is either, we just need to monitor them, so we’ll probably need to dip into the younger age group again, I think.”
Lambert says no one else is struggling after Tuesday: “Not as such, we have to wait and see where we’re at.”
Regarding playing youngsters such as Armando Dobra, Brett McGavin and Liam Gibbs, Lambert added: “I think I said last week, I had to be brave enough to throw them in, to give them an opportunity, which I’ve done.
“I think long term, although you take the short-term hit, long term it’s going to be really good for them and be really good for the club because they’re getting the game time.
“That’s where the bravery comes in and you have to be brave to throw a young player in, and I think everybody knows now that I’m not frightened to do it.”
Quizzed on the chances of other players returning over the Christmas period, Lambert said: “Freddie Sears has just back, he started at the tail end of last week and a little bit this week.
“He’s just come back from a really strenuous hamstring problem, so we’ve got to really watch him, that he doesn’t pull up and doesn’t do any more damage. He’s doing OK, Freddie.
“Gwion Edwards [hamstring] isn’t ready at all. At the minute, do we have anybody coming back? I’d probably say no.”
Teddy Bishop (ankle), James Norwood (hamstring), James Wilson (knee), Cole Skuse (knee) and Flynn Downes (knee) are still sidelined, while Kane Vincent-Young (achilles) and Tristan Nydam (ankle) are both training but not yet ready for a return.
Edwards and Bishop were both on target regularly in the early stages of the season and Lambert was asked if their attacking threat has been missed.
“I think when you look at it, you can go through all those lads, right through the team, Edwards, Sears, Drinan has been out, Norwood’s been out, Jackson’s been out, there have been times when we’ve played with no centre forward,” he said. “Skusey’s been out, Downes, Bishop, Dozzell’s missed a good chunk, James Wilson.
“They’ve all missed massive chunks of the season and that’s why where we’re sitting in the table is a pleasing thing. We’re two points off it with unbelievable problems.
“I’ve never known anything like this. As I said before, I’m surprised when I come in and there’s not somebody pulled up.
“Every day I have to get my head round it thinking that somebody’s going to be injured or not feeling good.”
One piece of good news is that Kayden Jackson is OK despite having limped off on Tuesday: “He just got a little knock on his hip but he’s OK, he’s fine.”
Given the injuries, he’s proud of what his players have achieved to be fifth, level with the three sides above them and only two points off the top.
“I think that’s been overlooked,” he said. “I am proud of them and how happy I am with their fighting, and I’m talking about experienced guys here, talking about the all guys all mucking in and really, really giving it everything.
“Should they be where they are? Probably not with the team we’ve got at the minute, but they are, they’re sitting two points off it with just pure endeavour.
“We might not have won every game, we might not play great every game until we get everybody back, then we become really, really strong.
“At the minute, I’m proud of them and how they’ve battled away for us. I can’t give them any more praise.”
Photo: Matchday Images
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