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MANAGER: We'll make a decision tomorrow

Paul Simpson with an injury update

22 September 2022


MANAGER: We'll make a decision tomorrow

Paul Simpson with an injury update

22 September 2022

United boss Paul Simpson confirmed that he’ll be leaving it as long as he possibly can before making a decision on forwards Omari Patrick and Kris Dennis, who are both nursing what it is hoped are minor hamstring issues.

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“We’ve still got a while before the game on Saturday, and it’s certainly too early to make a decision on Kris and Omari as we speak right now,” he explained. “They’re both improving, and Denno was out on the grass with us again today. He wasn’t with the rest of the group, but he did some fitness work with Ross the physio, and we’ll see if he has any reaction to that.

“Sometimes when you have a hamstring problem you can get through the work but it reacts afterwards, that’s why we show so much caution.

“Omari wasn’t training, but all of the lads who played on Tuesday did a recovery session. He would have been part of that.

“We’re hoping it was just a spasm with him rather than anything more serious, but we do need to wait and see how they both are. I’m always prepared to wait in a situation like this and, on the other hand, I’m not prepared to take risks either.

“I won’t be taking a chance at all. The last thing I want to be doing is putting anyone into a team when they’re not ready, and that’s why we’ll wait and see.”

“There’s every possibility that they’ll travel with us to Newport and I’ve actually already asked this morning if we were able to get an extra room just in case we do need to take 20,” he added. “If I find out tomorrow that there’s no improvement on one or both of them then I’m not going to risk it.

“But I’m also not going to just take 19 and risk those two not being available, then I only have 17 for the teamsheet. I actually think it’s a bit disrespectful to the club to do that.

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“It may be that an opportunity opens up for a young player to come along, be that Nic Bollado or Ryan Carr, or one of the other younger boys who deserves an opportunity. I may not be intending to put them on, but I want them to have the experience of being with the first team.

“We’ll be in early on Friday, we’ll see how Kris and Omari are, and we’ll get confirmation on what they’re thinking and what we’ll do.”

With such a big decision somewhat up in the air, we wondered how much it affected the overall weekend preparations.

“It does affect it, but it’s all part and parcel of football,” he insisted. “There’s no point getting screwed up about it. I’ll make a final call tomorrow morning when I find out how they’ve both reacted to the stuff they’ve done today.

“I can assure you that when we start training on Friday morning I’ll know exactly what the team is going to be. The players will know as well and, to be honest, that’s the most important thing.

“We’ll have looked at the clips on Newport, we’ll know what we want to do and how we want to do it, and we can go from there.”

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There was good news to follow when he spoke about a potential early return for striker Ryan Edmondson.

“It’s not good news for this weekend but if everything goes really well we might have a chance of seeing Ryan for the Crewe game,” he said. “That’s me being Mr Optimistic but we are continuing to increase his workload, within the guidelines of making sure we don’t cause him any discomfort.

“He’s doing football and running work and fingers crossed he’ll train with the group on Monday, but that will still be too late for me to think about using him on Tuesday night. I could put him on the bench, but what if I then had to react to a situation in the first minute and he has to go on.

“We’ll see what work we get out of him next week with a view to the Saturday game. We could have Ben Barclay back by then as well, because the setback where he was feeling a bit sore last week has gone away and he’s pushing on.

“We’ll wait and see on him and Ryan, but they’re out there running or on the grass and doing their own work.”

On those who were expected to face a longer spell on the sidelines, he commented: “Jamie Devitt goes for his first injection into his quad tomorrow, so that’ll be the start of him working towards getting fit again.

“Tobi Sho-Silva is still a good few weeks away but he’s been fantastic to have around the place. He’s one of the type of players who gives out grief, but he can take it as well, and that’s good to see in any dressing room.

“If there’s something happening or being said, he’s usually there and part of it. He’s starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel in terms of him being fit, and I’m not saying that these lads are all going to start, but if you add people like Tobi, Ryan and Ben then you have a different group as well.

“When they’re back it makes us stronger, with options, and that’s what I want to see. Hopefully we get more of these lads back over the next month, and then you’re talking about Joel Senior maybe being back at the end of October.

“Joel had a good week in Manchester on the Alter-G machine, then he was at St George’s for some focused one-to-one work, and he’ll be back with us next week. Possibly in the next week or two he’ll be back with the main group.

“Like I said, when we have them it’ll give the squad such a different look to it. We can talk about all of these positives, but the thing in the back of our minds is that sadly they can’t be there to help us at Newport.

“With every player who is injured it’s about doing it properly so that we get them back and they’re available for a long time. That’s the important aspect.”

Importantly those who played on Tuesday night demonstrated that they are more than ready to pick up the torch.

“There’s a really good spirit in that dressing room, and you can tell by the noise they make that everyone is in a good place,” he said. “There are a lot of positives and that’s why the game on Tuesday and the Papa Johns is so important, because it gets players match time.

“That means they’re then ready should we need them for league games. Having players as up to speed as they can be is always a good thing. Seeing how they approached the Tuesday game has given me a nice headache in that I know players are there and waiting.

“That’s a nice issue to have, it’s certainly not a problem. We could go through all of them – Mick Kelly played so well, Duncan Idehen was on his game, Jack Ellis did himself no harm at all, Jayden Harris showed us what he’s about, and Ryan Carr had a great debut.

“Owen Moxon is showing us all what he’s capable and I still think there’s much more to come from him. I’m pushing him to get that out of him, and I think we see something new or different every time he plays.

“Jack Stretton and Nic Bollado were lively and, like I say, I could go through all of them. They’ve all given themselves a real chance, and doing it over 90 minutes against a good Fleetwood side was fantastic.”

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