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Club News

MANAGER: They all look in good shape

Paul Simpson on injuries and selection dilemmas

18 August 2023

Club News

MANAGER: They all look in good shape

Paul Simpson on injuries and selection dilemmas

18 August 2023

There was better news for midfielders Dylan McGeouch and Kai Nugent this week as both made a return to full training following their respective hamstring and foot injuries.

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“Dylan is over his issue and training again, but he’s not available for Saturday,” manager Paul Simpson told us. “It’s too early for him just now.

“Hopefully he’ll play some part in the game we’ve got next week if he can come through a few days of training. He’s not far off, we’ve just got to be careful we don’t push him too hard. 

“Kai is back in training and we’re hoping he’s going to play a part in the reserve as well. We play in the Central League Cup the week after, and it’s possible he’ll play in that, and we’ll then have a look at where he is in terms of fitness and whether or not it’s right to send him out on loan.

“He’s come along nicely, he’s got himself fit and into full training so we’ll assess him from here.

“Fin Back is available for us, that was the last midweek he’ll be missing out on. The rest of them who weren’t involved trained on Tuesday, and I know they all want to be involved. It’s a case of just being patient and waiting for their chance.”

A big part of this week has been recovery from two tough games and the training sessions that go with them.

“They’ve all recovered and look in good shape,” he commented. “They’re all saying the right things and we have to hope they’ll be ready to go again. You just never know.

“You could feel really good and you’re hopeless come match day, or you can feel not at your best and off you go. You’ve got to keep your fingers crossed.

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“Everybody came through the game unscathed in terms of injury, so everybody is available for the weekend. We’ll be making the decision between now and Saturday as to which 11 and 18 are going to be involved.”

That task of selecting the 11, and then the subs to make it up to 18, can’t be an easy one when you have everybody available and chomping at the bit.

“It’s difficult, and sorting the bench is sometimes the more difficult part of it,” he said. “I’m having to leave players out altogether with that part of it, and that is tough.

“I know they all want to be involved and that they’ve all worked hard in training to deserve to be involved. The nature of the game is that we can only have seven substitutes and I try to pick the right mix to give us as many options as we can have.

“There are some situations where I’ve got this ‘what if’ scenario in mind, and we’ve got to try and put the right permutation together to cover as many of the eventualities that we can think of.

“On Tuesday night I had it in my mind that Sean Maguire and Owen Moxon wouldn’t be able to complete 90 minutes, so I had to have something that was going to be able to cover those areas, but it may different again with that on Saturday.

“We’ve just got to try and all stick together and hopefully they’ll all want to stay and carry on doing the right things, because I would imagine between now and January we’re going to need everybody.

“That’s why I want them to be playing games, with next week’s friendly being a good one for us. I can’t confirm who that is just yet just in case the other club doesn’t want us to say anything.

“It’s a game where lads who’ve not had many minutes will be able to go out and get 90 under their belt. I realised last year we undercooked the lads who weren’t playing and then we threw them into a Papa Johns game.

“They hadn’t played for three or four weeks we expect them to perform to levels and they’re not up to speed. We’ve got this game, we’ve got a Central League Cup game the following Tuesday, then the week after we’ve got the EFL Trophy.

“Anybody who does get called into action for that one, at least they’ve had two games over the previous two weeks and will hopefully be able to go and do themselves justice.”


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