McKenna: Skipper Morsy Still Has a Role to Play
Thursday, 27th Jan 2022 16:12
Blues manager Kieran McKenna believes skipper Sam Morsy will still have an important role to play around the club during the remaining three matches of his four-match ban, while he says the club has plenty of other players with leadership qualities, including George Edmundson, who wore the armband at AFC Wimbledon on Tuesday, and Sone Aluko, who captained Town earlier in the season.
Morsy, 30, was suspended by the FA for four games for his clash with Accrington midfielder Ethan Hamilton just before the hour last Saturday, somewhat harshly according to McKenna.
Asked whether his skipper will have a part to play even while not able to feature in games, McKenna said: “He's certainly not going on holiday. Sam is a big player for us off the pitch and I have to say I've been really happy and really impressed with his leadership qualities in the time that I've worked with him.
“He's very thoughtful, he's studious about the game and about leadership himself, he wants to improve as a player and he made that very clear in our first conversation that even though that he is at a good age and has played lots of games, he still sees himself as wanting to develop and get better.
“He's very interested in leadership and always wants to discuss how he can lead the group in the best way.
“So, he's an important player for us off the pitch and he'll be setting standards in training like he does day to day.
“He's trained today at a really high level, as I would expect from him every day, so for sure he's a big miss on the pitch, and I'm disappointed not to have him for the matches.
“But we still have him in the building and around the group and he's still got an important role to play.”
Asked whether the former Wigan, Chesterfield and Middlesbrough man will make the trip to Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday and to Doncaster for the final game of his spell out, McKenna says the two will talk.
“I'll have that discussion with him,” he said. “I've not had that discussion yet with him. Look, we have to find a balance with that.
“Obviously, we enjoy having him around the group, but also we have to consider their training time. Sometimes it might be more beneficial for him to stay here and get an extra session and work on the grass.
“We have other leaders in the group as well and other people are going to have to step up on the pitch.
“We're going to need different voices and leaders around the group, which we feel like we have.
“So, we'll make the decision between myself and Sam on what games he travels for, but it will also be balanced around his individual needs to train as well and prepare himself as well as he can and use this time well because when he comes back for the MK game, we want a strong, fit and ready Sam Morsy to contribute to the rest of the season.”
Regarding Edmundson, he added: “George is an important player for the future of the club. Obviously, he has come in in the summer and impressed everyone with his performances on the pitch.
“Also, he's a positive and lively character around the dressing room, popular with the players, but also he's a tough character, and he wants to win.
“So we feel like he's got a lot of attributes that we want to develop in him from a leadership point of view. We also have some really good senior players, to be honest.
“Sone Aluko played the other night, a fantastic professional and a really good leader in the group and great around the training ground, good on the pitch and has experience and he's one of a number of other examples I could give of people of who we feel have good leadership qualities.
“We just felt it was right for George at this moment to step up and develop himself in that way, and we want to develop him over his time at the club, and we think he can be an important player for the future.”
Photos: Matchday Images/PagePix
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