Lambert on the 'cavalry coming' over Christmas and Vincent-Young's 'incredible' training return
- Credit: ITFC/PAGEPIX
Paul Lambert is hopeful he will have the majority of his injured players available again over Christmas and New Year as the Ipswich Town boss waits for the ‘cavalry to arrive’.
The Blues have been hit with medical issues throughout the opening third of the campaign, with nine senior players currently sidelined and plenty more having missed time with knocks since the season began in September.
That number includes influential performers such as Kane Vincent-Young, Flynn Downes, James Norwood and joint leading scorer Gwion Edwards, with Lambert hopeful his side can have a real injection of talent over the coming weeks as they look to strengthen their promotion credentials.
“I hope they will be back maybe over Christmas,” Lambert said.
“The likes of Flynn (Downes) and (Teddy) Bishop can maybe start training in the Christmas week or the early days of the new year. Hopefully they can come back at the same time.
“These ones who have been long-term for us, like Flynn Downes, Cole Skuse and James Norwood, who has had a stop-start season, have been tough. We have to hope either late Christmas or the start of 2021 is when we’ll get most of them back.
“I’m like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, sitting there in that hut wondering when the cavalry will be coming, because we need them to be coming back.
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“If we can keep round about this for this period of time then we’re going to be a lot stronger.
“That’s why I think what we’ve done at the minute has been really good, even if we’ve not been playing great every time. But for the scenario we’re in we’re competing really well.”
There is likely to be no relief for this weekend’s game with Portsmouth, though Freddie Sears could potentially return from his hamstring problem for Tuesday’s visit of Burton.
Liam Gibbs, who made the bench at Plymouth last weekend, is out with a groin problem picked up in the FA Youth Cup win over Fulham on Monday, but Aaron Drinan could potentially return from his hamstring problem.
One bright spot this week was the return of Vincent-Young to first-team training, with the full-back impressing before being given a rest during the latter part of the week.
Lambert is hopeful he will be back on the field soon, ideally in an Under 23 game.
“He was looking incredible in training but people have to understand, when you’ve been out for over a year without training, that’s mentally really tough,” the Town boss said.
“You have extra aches and pains when you come back but he trained with us and looked great. We pulled him back out again because of the fatigue-factor so he could have a couple of down days to see where he is.
“His Achilles is good and that’s not the concern. It’s the other little factors with the thigh, hamstring and calf.
“We’re really happy with him.
“Ideally we’d like to get him some game time somewhere or even in a game amongst ourselves, because it would be important for him to get that under his belt.”