Town Waiting on Norwood as Vincent-Young Continues Progress But Nsiala Out
Friday, 29th Jan 2021 09:55
Town boss Paul Lambert says he’s waiting to see how striker James Norwood is with Oli Hawkins and Kayden Jackson both missing for tomorrow’s game at Crewe Alexandra, while Toto Nsiala has been ruled out and long-term absentee Kane Vincent-Young continues to make progress.
Hawkins has undergone knee surgery which is expected to keep him out for around another five weeks, while Jackson is suspended for three matches having been sent off in the 1-0 home loss to Sunderland on Tuesday.
“We’ll have to wait and see how he is, how he’s feeling,” Lambert said when asked about Norwood, who felt some fatigue in his hamstring injury at Burton a fortnight ago.
“He’s not done too much with us, so we’ll have to see how James is and see if he comes through this one.”
With the Blues having a rare free week following the trip to Gresty Road, might Lambert look to take it slowly with the striker and not bring him back until Blackpool visit in a week’s time?
“That’s a valid point, we could do that, but again we have to wait and see,” the Blues manager added. “He’ll tell us himself how he’s feeling. If he’s feeling OK, then we’ll see. Whether he’s fit enough to start, I’m not so sure.”
Lambert has ruled out 18-year-old frontman Tyreece Simpson making the trip: “No, we’re OK, we’ve got enough guys in the squad in the minute, I’ll see how James feels.”
Regarding Nsiala, who missed Tuesday’s match, he said: “Toto’s hamstring came back the other day, just a little bit of muscle strain there, that’s why he didn’t play, because he’d been playing really well for us. That was why Elkan [Baggott] came on the bench. Toto will maybe train next week.”
Regarding midfielder Jon Nolan, who was subbed on Tuesday, he said: “That was just a change, and Nolo is just back training. He’s not done too much training, so he’s not long back after being a few weeks out so again we’re going to have too many games to take a risk with anybody, it’s too much of a risk.”
Right-back Kane Vincent-Young has been out since October 2019, initially having undergone two groin operations and then due to an achilles problem suffered in pre-season.
Asked whether fans might get to see the former Colchester United man soon, Lambert says he may get some game time next week, most likely in the U23s or an in-house match.
“He’s doing great, he’s trained for the last few days and done really well,” he continued. “There are some games next week, hopefully he’ll get part of a game next week and hopefully he’ll be OK from that. That’s a great step because he’s been a big miss, him.”
Lambert says the return of the 24-year-old would be a big boost with the campaign still not at its halfway mark.
“We’ve still got over half a season to go, so if we can get him back it’ll be a big plus for us because he’s definitely athletic, he’s a good player, a good character, hopefully he’ll come through today and then he comes through next week,” he said.
Centre-half James Wilson and winger Keanan Bennetts are making progress after knee and groin injuries respectively.
“James is doing alright, and he’s back running,” he said. “Keanan trained yesterday and hopefully he’ll play some part of the game next week as well, and hopefully he comes through that. But he’s another one that looked pretty decent.”
Asked whether veteran left-back Stephen Ward might need a rest at some stage with games coming thick and fast, Lambert said: "Listen, Wardy’s 35 and he’s been brilliant. He’s an incredible character in the dressing room and played a helluva lot of football, probably more than he actually thought and that’s three games in a week.
"So we’ll see how he feels and see how Myles is. But Wardy as a person has been a credit to himself and a credit to the club since he’s been in.”
”He’s never really let us down, Myles, and that’s the biggest compliment I can give him.”
Veteran midfielder Cole Skuse has been out of action since pre-season with a knee problem eventually requiring surgery in October.
“He’s doing alright, he’s not done anything with us at all,” Lambert said regarding the 34-year-old. “There’s no pressure from me, it was a nasty injury that. That’s been another big hole, people forget that. We’ll just have to wait and see how Cole is.”
Lambert says the former Bristol City man has been missed: “He gives you something different with his experience. Andre’s been brilliant for us, but he’s a young kid who hasn’t played many games, and he’s played nearly every game for us [this season] and sometimes you need a little bit of help in that area, somebody who has been there, seen it and done it. And that’s where Cole comes into his own really.”
New loan signing Josh Harrop again misses out having tested positive for Covid-19 a week ago but should be back for the Tangerines’ visit next week.
Tristan Nydam is back on the grass as he continues his recovering from the broken ankle and ligament damage he suffered in pre-season ahead of 2019/20.
Photo: Matchday Images
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