Lambert: Senior Players' Return a Huge Boost
Friday, 15th Jan 2021 11:39
Town boss Paul Lambert says he’ll wait and see how Teddy Bishop, Gwion Edwards and Jon Nolan have come through training this week before deciding how much of a part they might be able to play at Burton on Saturday, along with James Norwood and Flynn Downes, who came on as subs against Swindon last week after their injuries, while he says Kane Vincent-Young is “dipping his toe in and out” and James Wilson will be back on the Playford Road turf next week.
“They’ve been training since Monday and we have to wait and see whether there are no effects from this week’s training,” Lambert said when asked about Bishop, Edwards and Nolan, the first two having been out since November with ankle and hamstring injuries respectively and the latter after hurting his calf in the Portsmouth match in December.
“It’s good because they’re all big players who played a significant part at the start of the season, apart from Flynn really. They’re all hopefully coming back and we’ll just have to see how they are.”
Lambert added that Nolan is probably a little way off being involved this weekend.
Regarding right-back Vincent-Young, who has been out with an achilles problem since pre-season having missed most of the last campaign having undergone two groin operations, and centre-half James Wilson, who has had a knee injury, he added: “James is doing alright, I spoke with him yesterday. Kane’s doing alright, he’s dipping his toe in and out at the minute with the fitness guys, but he’s doing alright, he’s still feels a tiny little bit but he’s getting there.
“But you can’t push him because of the way it is and we’re hoping sooner rather than later that he’s back. I spoke to James yesterday, he feels better and hopefully get on the grass next week.”
Asked whether Norwood and Downes, who made an impact as half-time subs against the Robins, are ready to start at Burton, he said: “I don’t know. Those guys have been out for a long time. I know they did well when they came on, they gave us that bit of enthusiasm which was badly needed on Saturday. I think the two of them did well.
“Again, they’ve had a week under their belts, is it ideal game-time-wise for them? No, it’s not but it is what it is at the minute. We’re getting bodies back, which is the most pleasing thing.”
Lambert concurred that their return and that of the other injured senior players is a big boost: “Huge, if we can get Bishop, Nolan, Edwards and Sears and Oli Hawkins back, then it’s going to be a lot better for us on that side of it because especially in midfield and in wide areas we’ve been really, really light. If we can get them back that would be a massive boost.”
Quizzed on Jack Lankester, who has been on the bench for the last three matches, following a spell where he had started the previous two, Lambert said: “Jack’s done OK but you’ve got to remember he’s had a helluva time him with his back injury. He’s round about it, he’s training better, he’s a little bit fitter and he’s you’ve got to remember he’s only a kid.
“He’s had so many downs with his two back fractures but he’s doing OK, but there’s no rush from me with him because of what he’s been through.”
Striker Oli Hawkins is fine having missed last Saturday's game as a precaution having felt his knee in training the previous day, while winger Keanan Bennetts remains sidelined after a hamstring problem.
Photo: Matchday Images
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