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Morsy Set For League Debut and Edwards Expected to Be Available as Blues Host Bottom Club Doncaster
Monday, 27th Sep 2021 11:49

Summer signing Samy Morsy is set to make his league debut for the Blues and Kyle Edwards is expected to be back in the squad as Town face bottom club Doncaster Rovers at Portman Road on Tuesday evening.

Since joining the club on deadline day, Egyptian international Morsy has been serving a three-match suspension picked up when he was sent off in his final game for Middlesbrough with his only involvement for Town up to now in the Papa John’s Trophy tie against West Ham’s U21s.

Morsy seems certain to come into the side and is likely to be wearing the captain’s armband as he did when previously playing for Paul Cook at Chesterfield and Wigan.

Cook is pleased to finally be able to call on the 30-year-old, while other players are also back in the frame after injury.

“A massive addition to the squad,” the Blues manager said, speaking after Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Sheffield Wednesday.

“I think Kyle Edwards will be available, I think Toto Nsiala will be available, Samy Morsy will be available, so we are getting stronger now.

“Lads are getting games under their belts and the squad is growing, which is great for everyone.”

Despite being disappointed that his side didn’t win on Saturday, Cook felt the point, secured via Conor Chaplin’s late goal, maintained some momentum after the 1-0 win at Lincoln the previous weekend, Town’s first victory of the season.

“I just think supporters want to see signs that we are going to get better,” Cook continued. “I think when they left the ground after the Bolton game, the signs looked like we were getting worse, let’s have it right. And I don’t mind [them saying] that, I agreed with them.

“I think after Lincoln and Saturday, they’ve seen the solidity of the team is a lot, lot better, we don’t give up many chances and we’ve got a goal threat in the team.

“If we can keep maximising what we’re good at and get better at what we’re not so good at, we’ll be able to put a run together that will see us get where we want to be.”

Despite Rovers being bottom of the table on just four points having lost all five of their games on their travels this season, Cook says he won’t be underestimating the South Yorkshiremen.

“You’ve seen these games, you know the teams,” he added. “Doncaster lost 2-1 at Plymouth today, Plymouth beat Sheff Wed 3-0, Doncaster have lost the majority of their games by the odd goal.

“There’s nothing in the games at these levels and Doncaster have got some very, very good players, they will be a bit threat here.

“Hopefully our crowd can turn up again, get behind us as well as they have been in every game and hopefully we'll get that first win at Portman Road.”

Cook believes a win against Rovers will be a big step towards the Blues putting together the run he is looking for: “One hundred per cent, but no one will be taking any team lightly, there’s no such thing in these leagues as an easy game, that’s for sure.”

The Town boss seems set to stick with Vaclav Hladky in goal with Matt Penney again at left-back with Hayden Coulson appearing unlikely to be ready to return from what looked to be a groin problem suffered at Lincoln.

Janoi Donacien will continue at right-back with Cameron Burgess and George Edmundson the centre-halves.

In midfield, Lee Evans is again set to miss out with the hamstring injury which saw the Welshman miss the Owls match.

Morsy will make his debut, almost certainly in place of Idris El Mizouni, with Tom Carroll appearing likely to get the nod ahead of Rekeem Harper.

Bersant Celina will be in the number 10 role with Scott Fraser on the left and Wes Burns on the right and Macauley Bonne the lone striker.

Alternatively, Cook could start Edwards on the left with Fraser in the middle and Celina, who is still working towards full fitness after a summer hit by illness, on the bench if not considered yet ready for three games in eight days.

Doncaster manager Richie Wellens, who was red-carded during Saturday's 2-1 defeat away to the Pilgrims, empathises with his Town counterpart Cook and believes his own team is moving in the right direction.

“Paul’s been promoted from this league - he’s won promotion at Portsmouth and Wigan - so he doesn’t need me to tell him anything,” Wellens told the Doncaster Free Press.

“All you ask for as a manager is time. I think he’s signed 15 or 16 players. We’ve done the same.

“As long as you start seeing things [progress]. I remember one of his interviews where he said ‘We’re a shell of a team’.

“I totally get that because when I look back at some of my team selections at the start of the season we have been a shell of a team.

“But I honestly think we’ve turned a corner now and we look like we’re getting there.

“When you go to Plymouth who are on a really good run and that’s the most difficult game they’ve had apart from Rotherham away you can take positives from that. But we have to start winning.

“Four or five managers have said to me ‘Richie, you’ve got a really good team, and when you’ve got all your players back...’.

“I don’t want those kind of comments. It’s not patronising because I can see it for myself but we need to start putting wins on the board.

"When we start playing the bottom eight to ten clubs – I think we’ve only played one of the bottom 10 – we can start improving our points tally.”

Historically, Town have had the better of Rovers, winning nine games between the teams (eight in the league), drawing five (five) and losing five (four).

Rovers have beaten Town just once in the last seven meetings between the sides - and two of the last 12 - and most recently won at Portman Road in November 2011 when they claimed a 3-2 victory over Paul Jewell's Blues.

The teams last met at Portman Road in February in what proved to be former manager Paul Lambert's last game in charge of the club.

Alan Judge’s fantastic 25-yard free-kick and a predatory effort from James Norwood saw the Blues to a 2-1 victory and up to eighth in League One.

Judge curled home a brilliant opener on 24, Norwood stabbed in the second in the 54th minute, before sub Jon Taylor pulled one back on 73 for Rovers, who pushed for a leveller in the final minutes but without success.

At the Keepmoat Stadium in October last year, Rovers came from a goal down to beat the Blues 4-1 to comprehensively end their unbeaten start to 2020/21 and drop them to second in the League One table.

A Joe Wright own goal gave Town the lead on the quarter hour but Cameron John and Whiteman on 28 and 37 gave the home side a 2-1 half-time lead before Whiteman netted the third from the spot in the 62nd minute and Fejiri Okenabirhie made it four two minutes later.

Rovers manager Wellens had a spell on loan with the Blues from Leicester in the 2012/13 season making seven starts.

His assistant Noel Hunt moved to Town initially on loan from Leeds in November 2014 with the spell made permanent in the January.

The forward, who played for Blues boss Cook at Portsmouth and Wigan and was under consideration for a role on his Town staff, made three starts and nine sub appearances for the club, scoring three goals, before being released at the end of that campaign.

Doncaster keeper-coach Paul Gerrard also had a spell on loan at Portman Road between November and December 2002, making five starts.

Tuesday’s referee is Carl Brook from Sussex, who has shown 37 yellow and three red cards - one in each of his first three matches this season - during 2021/22 up to now.

Brook will be refereeing his first Town match, while he took charge of Rovers’ 3-1 win at Burton last season in which he awarded both sides a penalty and booked two South Yorkshiremen.

Squad from: Hladky, Walton, Holy, Donacien, Vincent-Young, Penney, Edmundson, Burgess, Woolfenden, Nsiala, Morsy, Harper, Carroll, El Mizouni, Fraser, Burns, Chaplin, Aluko, Celina, Edwards, Bonne, Pigott, Barry, Jackson, Norwood.

Photo: TWTD

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Europablue added 11:56 - Sep 27
I'd put Celina on the bench this time.
This is really a must win, but we've lost those in the past.

Jugsy added 12:16 - Sep 27
Agreed Europablue - Celina might be impressing in training but that highly coveted number 10 role has a number of players, one of whom scored at the weekend. Give him a rest and try someone else.

Unhinged_dynamo added 12:17 - Sep 27
Bench celina to protect his fitness etc bring in morsy and leave the rest, let's try and build a settled first team

TimmyH added 12:23 - Sep 27
Good news!...we're getting some important players back, a win tomorrow night and no excuses.

GiveusaWave added 13:00 - Sep 27
3 points and pull us away from the relegation places.

masetheace added 13:00 - Sep 27
Made my first visit of the season on Saturday . All I can say is that if Cook thinks its getting better , the first few games must have been dire . No energy , no creativity , no pace to the game .Five home games no wins Need to make changes before its too late to mount a challenge even for the top half

dirtydingusmagee added 13:21 - Sep 27
another teeth grinder i think, desperately need to get a run of wins ,but imo we are not that convincing, Losing against Donny is unthinkable and would be unacceptable to all but the ''real'' fans who have become accustomed to failure and can only cling to the hope that who ever it is who is injured returns and everything will come good [it rarely has ].Its time the team whoever plays started producing the goods and PC starts proving he is as good as he thinks he is. 3 POINTS A MUST TOMORROW ,COYB

PortmanTerrorist added 13:25 - Sep 27
Edwards and Burns on the wings, Fraser at 10.....Celina on Bench.....just for this game. Celina can replace any who do not perform = competition for places !

Morsey presumably comes in but for who ? Presumably El Mizuni, but what does that say to the squad, as thought he was outstsanding on Saturday. Can't keep looking ahead, as has been said, we MUST start winning now.

ThaiBlue added 14:04 - Sep 27
Has to be a win tuesday if not we are not the buck stops at cooks door.1 up front against donny is shocking,a chance to score a few goals and get more confidence back would be usefull.

BlueBlood90 added 14:10 - Sep 27
Morsy for Idris and Chaplin or Edwards in for Celina. If we need a bit of a spark in the second half then we can still bring Celina on if needs be but he could probably do with a little rest. Really looking forward to seeing what Morsy can bring to this side.

DifferentGravy added 14:14 - Sep 27
No surprise that by playing full backs with a priority of defending rather than overlapping we are keeping it tighter at the back(took him 6 games to work this out). But the problem still persists with the 4-5-1 which doesnt plays to our strengths. Dont have much of an idea about Morsy but a great deal has been said. So play him in the centre with A N other, Edwards on one side with Burns on the other. Then Bonne and either Pigott or Norwood up front. The back four sit tight, covered by at least one centre mid, allowing 4/5 players to attack through the centre or down the wings. A set up that caters for crosses, to feet, flick on or over the the moment all we have is over the top for Bonne

delias_cheesy_flaps added 14:50 - Sep 27
Personally I'd like to see Bonne & Pigott up front in a 4-1-3-2 but that's never going to happen! Getting mightily fed up with 1 up front!!

London_Blue added 15:00 - Sep 27
@PortmanTerrorist seriously, you thought El Mizouni was ‘outstanding’, in what way? He made two good tackles but apart from that went missing for the entire game, completely overshadowed by Carroll who’s orange boots were constantly on the ball.

Next time he plays, watch him off the ball, he’s late to every second ball, doesn’t track and has no sense of creativity. Our worst CM by a country mile. I would rather play Nolan, and that’s saying something!

Some fans watch a different game to me.

41826 added 15:26 - Sep 27
LondonBlue should attend the match before commenting he could not have been at the game on Saturday

Linkboy13 added 16:06 - Sep 27
Yes i thought El Mizouni had a steady game on Saturday if not outstanding and proved he's a valuable squad member. Don't know why Celina was rushed into the team when not looking fully fit. I liked the look of Aluko against Bolton but Cook doesn't seem to like him for some reason. Edwards is a very exciting player but possibly lacking an end product. It's very difficult to pick a lineup with so many players of equal ability.

Monkey_Blue added 16:06 - Sep 27
The formation debate is pointless. Lots of teams play the same formation as we do but use different tactics. It’s amazing how many people don’t get that formation isn’t the key. You can play 4-4-2 defensively or attacking but very few use it now because it’s easy to counter. Some of the teams who’ve schooled us this season have played 4-2-3-1 . Cook is simply poor as a coach and poor when it comes to Pre and in game tactics. If Cooks interviews are anything to go by I can imagine players are confused or simply blanking his nonsense.

DavoIPB added 16:07 - Sep 27
If we don't get a hatful of goals against Doncaster then something is seriously wrong. Have you all watched the highlights from their games this season. The game between them and plymouth looked like a bottom of league 1 possibly league 2 game, truly awful.

If Cook plays one striker then I don't know what is wrong with him. Should be three against Doncaster.

On another point we are actually a lot better team than last year. We have better players, we are creating a lot of chances - we should have been three nil up by half time last match.

We won't go up this year but we won't be in relegation zone either. If people listened to Ashtons interview at the end of the transfer window they would have noticed him saying they didn't have everything in place for this transfer window and would be in a much better place by the next one. Things will change again in January and if we are midtable by then should get some more decent players in with some of what we have leaving again.

jas0999 added 16:16 - Sep 27
Got to win this one.

Bazza8564 added 16:31 - Sep 27
Bersant on the bench for me with Fraser in the hole and Edwards and Burns on the wings. the squad is strong and getting everyone fit and using sensible rotation is the key, with fitness as well as keeping everybody involved.

I also thought El Mizouni played well on Saturday, as did Carroll.

The team is making progress with it's defensive solidity and has scored in every game. We are miles away from the finished article yet but we have the talent and the squad is certainly functioning better as a unit. I'm not going to use the "G" word because everyone will wince but I've seen every game this season bar a couple in pre-season and i'm convinced we are on the right path.

I'm also convinced playing two big guys up top and sacrificing the number 10 or one of the wingers would make us too long ball reliant and or too narrow. In my opinion 4-2-3-1 gives us a broad base with which to defend and options with full backs AND wingers on both flanks to get behind the opposition. 95% of the goals we've shipped were daft errors, the system is OK. Morsy should add more stability, i'm looking forward to more progress tuesday


SpiritOfJohn added 16:53 - Sep 27
If Cook truly believes we are making progress, then it would be sensible to make minimal changes. Morsy in for El Mizouni, who can count himself a bit unlucky, and Chaplin in for Celina. This would keep the same shape, while giving Celina a rest. Burns and Fraser have a lot of ability but need to start working their socks off to keep their places ahead of Edwards and Oluko.

spanishblue added 17:15 - Sep 27
ElMiz debut unspectacular but flashes of quick thought and terrific passes, lacking defensively but it’s presumably a big difference between 2 Nd team and a competitive league

USA added 18:48 - Sep 27
Neither Celina nor Fraser would start in my team after both were completely ineffective throughout on Saturday. Still waiting to se Fraser do much at all tbh.

Rolosmith added 20:53 - Sep 27
Why are people going on about playing one up front? At least 90% of all teams play with one up front!!! It's football nowadays.. WAKE UP. Let's be honest, we could win playing 4231, 442, 352, 532. What's more important is the players understand they system, all pull in the same direction and believe in what they are being told to do. I think it could all come together and will give Cook time to get it right. If it doesn't work I also have faith in Ashton and the rest to make the correct decisions for the club. Get behind the team, stop whinging and believe!

Sticks added 22:01 - Sep 27
Celina and Fraser can hardly be blamed for not
showing much on Saturday when the back four
seemed intent on bypassing the midfield and
playing too many long balls!!


bobble added 22:24 - Sep 27
important relegation 6 pointer i can see rotheram winning 2-1

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