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MANAGER: It ballooned straight away

Paul Simpson on an injury scare for Tobi Sho-Silva

29 January 2023

Forward Tobi Sho-Silva had to sit out the Rochdale trip on Saturday after he rolled an ankle in training on Friday, a real frustration as it ballooned on him in the dressing room after the session.

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“It ballooned straight away, he went home in a boot, it was just a really innocuous thing,” manager Paul Simpson explained. “I think he actually blocked a shot from Omari and turned his ankle.

“I didn’t see it happen, I looked around and he was on the sideline speaking to Chris the physio. Hopefully it settles down as quickly as it ballooned and it’s not too serious.

“We’ll have to see how he is when he comes back in on Monday.”

But with the group were Ben Barclay and Jayden Harris.

“I apologised to them when I named the bench, in the final meeting,” he revealed. “I was considering making changes to the bench because I want everybody to be involved.

“But I didn’t think these lads had done anything wrong to not go again. They’ve got to stay with us. We’re going to need everybody to really dig deep for the next 99 days I think it is to the end of the season, and do what they can.”

 And it was the same 11 who got the nod for Rochdale from the previous success against Hartlepool.

“Those starting want to keep it,” he told us. “It was always going to be a big ask because there were some tired legs out there.

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“I’m going to have to have a think about what we do for Tuesday, see how they all are. That’s the next challenge for us, to make sure we get the right 11 that has the energy to do the job for us.

“All of these lads are putting a shift in for us and hopefully they’ll keep doing it. We’ll assess them, I’ll have a look at what running they’ve done in terms of the high speed stuff, sprinting, see if there’s any red flags we need to be aware of.

“Who knows, I’ll assess that on Monday and it may be that I don’t name the team until Tuesday. We’ve got some good options.

“Alfie came in and was competitive and pressed and worked, didn’t get much chance to show football but I know they’ll all want to play, it’s just about trying to pick the right one. 

“Everybody is sticking together, and that’s important. I think the lads who were on the bench and didn’t get a chance to come with us were with it as well. Everybody here as part of the first team group was willing it through to the end.

“It’s a case of just everybody sticking together, grinding results out, ticking each one off and let’s see where it takes us.”

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And the substitutes are showing that they’re straining at the leash with their contributions.

“Omari is full of energy, we’re just trying to manage him properly,” he said. “We need to keep him out on the grass. We have a plan with him.

“He’s a dynamic sort of player, he’s somebody who has that pace. We brought JK in because we needed somebody else with it. I just think we’ve got some real good options in those forward areas, and what a fantastic bonus it is for me that I can look at the bench, and I’ve got Joe Garner, Omari, who I can put on or they could even start games, then I’ve got Denno and JK to come into it.

“We’re in a good place with our group, we just have to be nice and calm, keep our heads and hopefully keep going. Joe Garner, he’s really desperate to get out there.

“He’s showing a great attitude. He’s coming on, there’s no sulking going on, he’s a real bubbly personality, and again he came on and was effective for us, that’s what we need – everybody who’s on the bench to come on and be effective.

“It could easily have been Dev today in midfield, I was considering that, and I know they’re all wanting to be involved, they just have to be patient and wait for their chance.”

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