Edwards and Celina to Miss Bolton
Friday, 10th Sep 2021 10:11
Town boss Paul Cook has revealed winger Kyle Edwards won’t be involved in tomorrow’s home game against Bolton Wanderers having picked up a knock, while new signings Bersant Celina and Sam Morsy will miss out due to their lack of fitness and suspension respectively and one or two others will also be absent, but says a couple of players will be making their home debuts.
The Blues haven’t been in action since the transfer window closed with last week’s trip to Wycombe postponed due to Chairboys international calls. That has allowed the squad a fortnight working together on the training ground as they look for their first win of the season against the Trotters.
“Tomorrow the likelihood is we’re going to have a couple of players on the pitch probably making their home debuts, which is great for our supporters, but it just shows you still the changes that are coming,” Cook said.
“Whilst we’re not looking for excuses, I’m not that type of manager and never have been and never will be, the brutal reality is that we are going to take a little bit of time to get up to speed.”
Cook says he has welcomed the window shutting and confirming which players he will be working with for at least the first half of the season.
“One hundred per cent,” he said. “I can only highlight to our supporters how disappointed I am with our points return at the minute, which I am, that’s 100 per cent a given. But I’m also very, very positive about the future.
“I watched training in the last few days, I’ve seen the intensity growing, I’ve seen the standard of training going very, very high, as you can imagine with the likes of Celina and Morsy coming into the group.
“But on the flipside that those lads can’t play, Kyle Edwards is out, one or two other lads won’t make the game tomorrow, which is a bit of a disappointment. This is all the disappointments we’re getting.
“We seem to make one step forward and one step back and one step forward and one step back.
“The reality is that time isn’t any manager’s friend or coach’s friend in football. Everyone knows how football is today but the reality is with the change we’ve had at the club, we are going to need a little bit of time to get up to speed.”
Cook wouldn’t be drawn on who might be in line for those debuts: “There’ll be a couple tomorrow in for sure, I don’t want to get involved in team selections, speaking about injured players.
“The reality is that by the time probably that we go to Accrington away I would imagine we’ll see Morsy’s [three-match league] suspension ended, Celina in the squad, the injured lads, one or two or three, all returning.
“So that’s a game that we’ve targeted as really where the squad will be up and running 100 per cent for sure. But before that we’ve got big games where Bolton, Lincoln, Sheffield Wednesday, the Papa John’s Trophy, where we want to win games.”
Celina has had little pre-season having suffered with Covid and then pericarditis while with his parent club Dijon.
“No, he hasn’t, and that’s a disappointment with Morsy’s suspension,” the Blues boss continued. “That’s a disappointment as well.
“But I think any logical fan will look at us now and go, ‘Yeah, they’ve got some squad in place’.
“The reality for any coach or manager now is you want to be able to have that trust value where you know your fitness levels, your match experiences, your attention to detail on the training ground is consistent and regular.
“And that’s something we’ll work on over the next few weeks and that’s only a time thing. Only time can bring us to gel together and that’s what we’ll need.
“Can we win games along the way to put us in a position where we’re better off than we are today? That’s the big challenge for me at the minute.”
Asked whether he has a game earmarked for the Kosovan international to make his debut, he joked: “Sunday morning! No, I haven’t at the minute. I think at best probably Lincoln away, and you know I’m being hopeful with that.
“But obviously Kyle Edwards being out injured and Bersant being out injured and obviously one or two that we are still desperately seeking to get fit and available, so we’ll keep working hard, we thank our supporters for the support, and hopefully, it can be great again tomorrow at Portman Road.”
Regarding the setback with Edwards, Cook wouldn’t give details but says it’s not serious: “Again, guys, I don’t want to discuss it. It’s something that I’m going to try and get away from with you. I want to be as honest and as transparent as I can be. Kyle Edwards won’t be out for a long time, that’s all I can say.”
Quizzed on whether Bonne would be back, Cook said: “I’d just rather not say. We pick the team tomorrow and the team has obviously been picked. They’ve been working very hard as they’ve done for two weeks.
“We’ve had George Edmundson training with us now, Conor Chaplin training with us, obviously Christian Walton, Macauley Bonne’s had a good training week so our numbers are good.”
Cook also confirmed midfielder Jon Nolan is now back in training.
Photo: Matchday Images
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