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MANAGER: It isn't good news at the moment

Paul Simpson on Fin Back and Morgan Feeney

23 November 2022


MANAGER: It isn't good news at the moment

Paul Simpson on Fin Back and Morgan Feeney

23 November 2022

United manager Paul Simpson confirmed this afternoon that it’s a waiting game for definitive news on last weekend’s injured duo – Fin Back and Morgan Feeney – with the pair nursing hamstring issues picked up during the first half of the Salford match.

“It isn’t good news at the moment, but we haven’t got a definite answer on how they are as yet,” he told us. “We’re still waiting for that.

“Morgan’s is likely to be two or three weeks, maybe a bit longer, and Fin’s could be even worse. We’re just waiting to get a second opinion on Fin, just to be sure about it.

“He’s gone back down to Nottingham Forest to see their medical staff, so we have to wait and see. As we sit here right now we think they won’t be available for the weekend but, again, we have to wait for the information to come through.

“I’m not definitely ruling them out yet, we’ve still got time, but the chances are they won’t be with us and we’ll just have to get on with it.”

Always keen to assess the circumstances, he confirmed that it was just one of those things that, yet again, has to be dealt with.

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“We feel there’s nothing we could have done to prevent either of them,” he explained. “That’s something we discussed this week and we know there isn’t anything we could have done differently.

“Both players had been training well, with no issues at all, and it’s just one of those things. The pitch at Salford wasn’t very good, I’m really sorry to have to say that, but it was a really poor surface.

“I don’t think we can even blame that because both of them happened so early in the game. The players did suffer, there were some really tired legs because it was such a sandy, spongy surface.

“But with the hamstrings coming so early in the game we can’t put it down to that. It’s just one of those things we have to deal with.

“It’s not ideal that we’ve picked them up but with the way games were coming at us you’re going to get injuries. It’s the nature of the game.

“We’re not the only ones facing it. I’m looking at the World Cup and there are players getting injuries there, actually picking up some bad injuries as well. It’s just part and parcel of this industry.

“It shows the value of the squad that we can just get on with it. We had players last week in Corey Whelan and Jack Ellis who came straight in and didn’t look as if they’d ever been away from it and we’ve got players waiting in the wings who want to step in, so we’ll always utilise the squad in the best way we can.”

On the remainder of the squad he hopes to have available, he commented: “They’re all ok at the moment. None of them are ruled out, but there is a little bit of a bug going around where there are a couple who are doubtful for Saturday.

“They haven’t trained today, but who knows. It’ll be what it will be, and at the moment I have 20 players available, which means I’ll be able to have the nine subs allowed on the team sheet.

“But that’s only if everyone comes through. That means there’s also a chance that we won’t have 20 available if this bug continues to cause problems.

“We’ll certainly have enough for a starting 11, and I’m sure they’ll want to continue what they did last Saturday. I would expect whoever is with us to want to carry on the good away form, as we have at Tranmere, Hartlepool and Salford, and the other places where we’ve picked up points.”

Yet another step closer to a return are Ben Barclay, Jamie Devitt and Joel Senior.

“They’ve all trained really well this week,” he said. “We tried to get a game but it didn’t fit in with our plans and the opposition we wanted. We now have a fixture next Tuesday, and I’d like to get another one for the following the week.

“We already have one the week after that, so looking at the Christmas programme we could have all of these lads back.

“If they haven’t played any first team minutes we’ll have them with at least two or three reserve games with minutes under their belt.”

And with the weather being changeable, to say the least, it’s been another week of rolling with the punches when it comes to training.

“There’s just no point complaining about any of it,” he insisted. “We’re not blessed with magnificent Premier League or Championship training facilities, we have what we have.

“We deal with it, we get on with it, and we don’t look for excuses. Gretna is actually a really good surface to train on, albeit artificial, and you can get all of the work you need to do done.

“We got out onto our own training pitch on Tuesday, we got the big 11v11 work done, and we followed that up with smaller area drills at Gretna today.

“What I can say is that we’ll go into the game on Saturday fully prepared and ready for it.”

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