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Interviews

MANAGER: It's not good for either of them

Paul Simpson with an update on Fin Back and Morgan Feeney

6 April 2023

Interviews

MANAGER: It's not good for either of them

Paul Simpson with an update on Fin Back and Morgan Feeney

6 April 2023

United suffered a double injury blow at Orient last weekend with defenders Fin Back and Morgan Feeney both substituted before the break with suspected hamstring injuries, and it was confirmed following scans this week that the pair face prolonged spells on the sidelines.

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“They’re not good,” manager Paul Simpson confirmed. “They were both scanned earlier in the week and we’ve been told that Fin has a grade 3c hamstring tear, which is anywhere from 12 to 16 weeks, and possibly surgery.

“He’s gone back to Forest to get an assessment from them as to what they want to do with him.

“Morgan’s isn’t as bad, but it’s still bad. It’s been assessed as a 2c tear. He’s going to be eight to ten weeks, which is very frustrating for him. He’ll have a course of PRP injections to try to aid his recovery, but it’s annoying for him.”

“The likelihood is that Fin won’t be able to play again this season, and there’s every chance that Morgan will face the same,” he added. “If we’re involved in a play-off final Morgan might be available for that.

“These are big blows because they’re good characters, they’re good people to have around, and it’s disappointing for them as individuals as well as for me as the manager.

“Fin had looked so good in the week leading up the Orient game. He went and did his rehab with Forest and we followed the plan they wanted for him to the letter over the last week, in terms of the physical numbers they needed to see.

“He was absolutely distraught because he was so excited to be back here, and he was looking forward to the challenge. He’s said that any chance he gets to come and watch us, he’ll be doing that, because he wants to give his support to the lads. “

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On how the injuries happened, he commented: “For both Fin and Morgan they were freak, unusual incidents.

“Morgan stretched his leg to block a defender from clearing it, and he felt his hamstring pop straight away. Fin got his foot stuck in the ground and he stretched his leg out to try to get to a ball, and his other hamstring tore.

“There was no sign of it at all, there were no indications for either of them before the game, and it’s really unfortunate that we’ve lost them.

“Morgan is obviously frustrated but one thing I will say is that when you pick up an injury, if you think it could have been avoided it makes it even more frustrating.

“Like I say, there were absolutely no signs of either of these going into the game last weekend, they were both really innocuous situations.”

With the players sidelined it means the opportunity is there for others to step in.

“What it does is open the door for others, for other centre backs, and we’ve got Corey Whelan and Ben Barclay who can come in and do that job,” he told us

“We have options on the right with Jack Ellis and Joel Senior, so we do have players there. If we want to go more attacking we have people like Jordan Gibson who can do that job for us.

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“I have enough options to choose from going into this game against Tranmere. The injuries are part and parcel, there are no excuses, and we have to pick a team that hopefully will go out there and perform.”

“Don’t get me wrong, we’ll look after them, but we also have to move on,” he continued. “We’ll definitely do everything right for them, but they can’t affect our last seven games now. We have to focus on the players who can affect things for us.

“That isn’t me being disrespectful, or being clever about it, it’s just how it is. With all of the injured players, I’m still speaking to Tobi [Sho-Silva], Brennan Dickenson, any of the lads who are going through treatment, but when it comes to games I have to focus on the people who will be involved.

“At this stage of the season, that’s what we have to do. If any other lads come into the mix over the next few weeks then they’ll get even more attention and they’ll be involved even more. For now, we have a group of players who are ready and looking forward to this weekend’s games.”

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On the good news side of things he confirmed that there were no new injuries to be concerned about.

“There are no new problems, but we did have a couple of little niggles this week,” he said. “Everybody has trained, we had a bit of an illness earlier on in the week, but a full group have trained in our final session today.

“I’ve got to say that the quality was very good, the energy levels were high, so we got them off the training pitch this afternoon so that we don’t use too much of that up and hope that we’ve got enough in the bank for the game.”

The absence of skipper Feeney means that the captain’s role is one that needs to be filled.

“Hunts will be captain for the Tranmere game, and I’m sure his arm is strong enough to carry that armband,” he revealed. I’m a big believer that you have to have a group of leaders, it’s as simple as that. I think we’ve got people in there who can do that.

“We need Tomas to start leading, and to be a vocal point at the back with his 6ft8 frame, or whatever he is. We need people like Mox and Callum who have been captains before to lead for us.

“We also need senior players like Joe Garner to lead, be that on the grass or in the dressing room, all of them need to step up to the plate.

“They’ve all got a lot of games under their belts, they know what’s needed in terms of what we want to achieve, and hopefully they’ll all lead us to where we want to go.”


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