United’s start to the 2020/21 campaign has been hampered by key players missing out through injury, but manager Chris Beech confirmed on Saturday that better news is ahead, with both JJ Kayode and Omari Patrick closing in on a return to action.
“It’s tough if you take players out of the equation, it really is,” he said. “If you remove Liverpool’s front three you have to ask where would they end up in the league? They’d find it difficult as well.
“Omari has trained a couple of times, he’s made the bench, and it was very tempting to put him on at half time. I think I’ve done the right thing by not using him to make sure we’re stronger for next week.
“He’s only trained twice and played 14 minutes of our friendlies so what I tried to do was get him out of the rhythm of being injured, get used to matchday and putting those shin pads on, and not really wanting to utilise him. With the scoreline as it was it was probably the best thing to put him in a better place to be fit for next week.
“JJ had a scan on his knee and it’s a grade one, so it was seven to ten days. That means with that timeline he should be training on Thursday, if everything goes to plan. It’s vital, really, to look to improve our situation, and these are good players, so you want them on the pitch.”
But adding to the concerns was the half time substitution of Dean Furman, who appeared to begin struggling just before the break.
“I’ve not even spoken to him about that with my mind being on the match and on how we were going to get ourselves back in the game. I’m having to work far too hard to help the players to get an edge in that match. I’m changing shape and personnel, and we ended up with three forwards and two wingers, but we still don’t score.
“So, that’s where my focus was. Dean did appear to be concerned about his hamstring but we’ll have to wait and see.
“With the others who are missing, Magnus [Norman] has had his knee drained, he’ll be about another two to three weeks when he can hopefully start looking to train, then the blood will come back in it, then it will need draining again. Natural healing takes place within the process, apparently.
“Brennan [Dickenson] is out for quite a while. It wasn’t great news with Brennan, I don’t think the fans and myself will be able to utilise him until the winter months.”
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