Striker Ryan Edmondson started his first league game in just under a month against Rochdale this afternoon and his early season streak of bad luck struck again as early as the first minute, with a clumsy tangle that ultimately led to his removal from the field of play.
“The concern today was Ryan Edmondson,” manager Paul Simpson confirmed. “He twisted his ankle very early into the game and had to come off.
“He wasn’t subbed because of the mistake, he just couldn’t move his feet properly. He kept telling me he was ok, but we could see he wasn’t running ok.
“I maybe have to hold my hands up and say I should have taken him off earlier, so that he wasn’t put into that situation for their goal, but he kept saying he was fine.
“Sometimes when you have an ankle twist it’s really painful, but you can get through it after a few minutes.
“He was in too much pain and he’s gone home in a medical boot, so we’ll see how he is on Monday.”
“It was a challenge that happened really early in the game when he chased their centre-back into the corner,” he continued. “He gave a stupid free kick away, shoved the player in the back when he was going nowhere, and as the defender fell he did a bit of a scissors on Ryan’s ankle and it twisted.
“That’s what caused the problem, and we knew about it, so I kept asking him how he was. He said he was fine, he wanted to run it off, but we got to a point where it was too much for him.
“He was frustrated when he walked off, but I haven’t spoken to him yet. Sometimes with these sorts of things you’re better just leaving it, let the dust settle, and I’ll speak to him tomorrow or Monday to see how he is.
“I thought when Omari came on he made an impact, even though he tired towards the end of the game. This is where the squad comes into play and hopefully it's good enough to deal with these things.”
On the absence of Callum Guy, he commented: “He tweaked his groin in training on Tuesday morning with almost the last thing he did. He struck a ball and felt it.
“I’m told it’s a grade one strain, which is a week to ten days, so we fully expect him to join in training at the end of next week and be back in for the next game the next Saturday. We’ll just have to see how he is.
“It's annoying to get injuries but part of the game, part of what we have to accept, and understand that it’s going to happen. I’d really like to have a run where we can have a clear path at it, and I can make selection decisions because everybody’s available.
“It’s happening right through the team unfortunately. I suppose it is the nature of our game at the moment. We are obsessed with injury prevention and caution and making sure players are right and all this sort of stuff.”
Starting his second game for the club was defender Paul Huntington, who once again looked the part, particularly when he notched his first goal for his hometown club.
“I don’t care about what happened however many hundred years ago, it’s all in the past. I know that people weren’t very happy when I left the club, but it’s changed for me.
“Football is a really fickle game and Hunts has shown in the way he’s come into the club and the way he’s gone about his business that he wants to be here. He’s trying to do the right things and once he’s fully fit he will be a really good addition for us.
“The fans celebrated with him and showed their appreciation again at full-time, and rightly so. We all do things in the past that are heat of the moment things. You just have to live by it.
“He was representing a really big football club however many years ago, it’s donkey’s years. It’s irrelevant now. He’s shown his commitment to this club, shown his desire to want to come here, play, move things forward and I have been absolutely delighted with him in terms of his professionalism, his leadership, his performances, and brilliant he goes and gets a goal.
“I think he could get quite a few for us, because he’s brilliant at reading the flight of the ball from set plays. We’ve got people like Owen Moxon, Jordan Gibson, Callum Guy, Jamie Devitt, who can put balls in the areas for people like him to attack.
“We now need to get more players wanting to go and score, have that desire to go and score. If they do that we’ll get more and more goals.”
And Jamie Devitt followed up his 90 minutes on Tuesday with another excellent contribution this afternoon.
“He was brilliant and I thought he did well the other night as well,” the gaffer told us. “I wanted to get him on at some point. I chose to go with Jayden Harris because of his legs and the way he gets up and down the pitch.
“It got to the stage where it needed a bit of a change and Dev played a great ball out wide. Jordan does what he does and we got the goal from it. Hopefully we can keep Dev involved and keep getting an impact from him.
“I know what he’s capable of. I just wanted some legs and some energy in there to start with. I think about the chance at the end of the first half where Omari just put it wide after their defender got a touch, but that comes from Jayden Harris’s pressing, his long legs winning things, and then putting a quality ball across the box.
“Jayden brought some things to it. I just felt as though when we lost our way in the game, Dev’s experience and ball-retention ability would give us a little bit more.”
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