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MANAGER: It's not good news

Paul Simpson on Taylor Charters and Jack Ellis

31 December 2022


MANAGER: It's not good news

Paul Simpson on Taylor Charters and Jack Ellis

31 December 2022

Carlisle boss Paul Simpson was the bearer of bad news at his New Year's Eve press conference when he confirmed that both Taylor Charters and Jack Ellis face varying spells of time on the sidelines following the injuries they picked up at Crewe on Thursday night.

“Both lads had a scan on Friday, and Jack has a grade two hamstring strain, so he’s looking at four to six weeks.

“Taylor has a grade three hamstring tear, which probably means surgery, and that in turn means he’ll probably be out for three months, if not more.

“It’s not great news, but it’s something we’ve just got to deal with. It’s a horrible situation and I feel for both of the lads because they’ve worked really hard to cement a place in the team.

“It gives us an issue selection wise, so I’ve recalled Ryan Carr from his scholars’ Christmas break to make an 18 for us to be able to go to Doncaster, but it is what it is.

“We’ve just got to get on with it. We’ve got players who want to play and who we feel are fit enough to play, so we’ll put a team out which will hopefully go and get us a result.”

“I do feel really bad for both lads with them having shown their value to the group, but what it does now is give someone else a chance,” he reiterated. “It’s up to them to grasp it in the way that those two fellas have.

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“It’s a real shame for Taylor with him needing surgery. It’s around the same site that he had problems with in pre-season, so it’s not even a new injury.

“There’s obviously a little bit of a weakness around the tendon from that previous injury, and he’s done all the work and hasn’t had a single issue with it since he came back.

“He’s been available for quite a number of weeks now, so that’s a real blow. It’s the first injury that Jack Ellis has had like this, so this is new to him, and the job now is to look after them and get them right.

“Psychologically they’ll need to be looked after so that they can both deal with this spell, and hopefully they’re both back sooner rather than later.”

There was some better news on the other two players who had been substituted as precautions at Gresty Road.

“Jon Mellish and Jack Stretton are fine and both available for the Doncaster came,” he told us. “Jon got a whack which we thought would need stitches, but it just needed a dressing.

“Jack is ok as well, he said he started to feel better through the second half anyway at Crewe, but I took him off as a precaution, and I also wanted Denno to get some minutes to keep him going.

“We were in a fortunate position the other night because of the way we’d gone about it for the first 60 minutes, or whatever it was, and then because of their sending off, where we got the chance to be able to freshen it up and take players out of it.

“In the ideal world I would have liked to have taken others out of it, but with the injuries we picked up our hand was forced a little bit. We’re ok, the majority of the group are ready to go again, so we’ll just see what comes at Doncaster.”

“I’ve made a decision to not take Omari Patrick with us to Doncaster,” he continued. “If I wanted to be selfish I would have thrown him into the group to have him available, but I’ve got to be sensible because for the long-term, I think the two weeks we’ve got between now and the Newport game, he’ll really benefit.

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“We’ll have a better chance of keeping him out on the grass for longer if he gets those two weeks of training, so I’ve had to take my selfish hat off and decide not to involve him. We’ve got 18 to go and that’s all you need on the team sheet.”

“The injuries will mean that players who could maybe do with more reserve action will have to be involved, and there are players who will have to play who I maybe would have liked to give a rest to, but that’s the way it goes,” he said.

“Everybody who travels wants to play and they’re all available to play. It may mean that somebody might have to play out of position like Jayden Harris on Thursday, and I feel bad that I didn’t mention this after the game.

“At half time I told him I was bringing him on at right wing back, he looked at me a bit puzzled then said ok, and asked what I wanted him to do. I told him how I wanted him to play and he just got his head down and did it.

“You wouldn’t have even noticed that he’s never done that job before. What’s happened now might mean somebody will have to play out of position again, but that’s where we are and that’s what we’ll deal with.

“It’s always easy when you’re sat fourth in the table and you’re on a decent run, so we’re comfortable we can deal with that.”

“But I do get frustrated with the injury situation from time to time,” he admitted. “That doesn’t last very long because there’s just no point. You could pickle your head if you worry about it too much, it is what it is.

“Everybody is picking up injuries, every time we come to a game we have an idea of what the opposition are going to be, then we get the team sheet and it’s different because of injuries or illness.

“There’s no end of issues going on at the moment, and you just have to accept it. That’s why we have a squad. I’m disappointed we’ve got so many who aren’t available, but it’s the way it is.

“For Sunday we have Joel Senior who comes into the reckoning, and with the transfer window opening there’s the possibility that we may need to bring another right back into the mix as well.

“We are short on numbers in some areas, that now being one of them. Obviously we’re working away at getting Ben Barclay back, and it’ll be pleasing when he starts to really step things up. As I say, Ryan Carr is coming, so it may open a door for him.”

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