‘I’ve picked a strong team from what’s available’ – Injury latest ahead of tomorrow’s Bristol Rovers clash
- Credit: Richard Blaxall
Ipswich Town manager Paul Lambert says he has picked a ‘strong team from what’s available’ for tomorrow’s EFL Cup clash with Bristol Rovers at Portman Road.
Finally, following 182 days, the Blues will return to competitive action. The 2020/21 campaign begins with two cup matches, Arsenal’s Under-21s in Suffolk for an EFL Trophy group game next Tuesday, before Town get their new League One season underway with the visit of Wigan on Sunday, September 13.
“Without a doubt, it’s strange to have these two games before the league starts,” said Lambert. “But we will try everything to get through.
“It’s our first competitive game in five months and we’ll do our best to get through the tie. I’ve picked a strong team from what’s available to us.”
Lambert confirmed that Flynn Downes had been selected to start tomorrow, but was withdrawn from the squad after informing his boss that he ‘wasn’t in the right frame of mind to play’. The 21-year-old handed in a transfer request earlier this week after Town turned down a second bid for him from Premier League club Crystal Palace.
Meanwhile, the Blues boss confirmed that Kane Vincent-Young (Achilles), James Norwood (hip) and Kayden Jackson (groin) weren’t fit to play, Gwion Edwards (groin), Janoi Donacien (knock) and Myles Kenlock (thigh) needed to be assessed in the morning, while new striker Oli Hawkins is still not fully fit.
Cole Skuse (knee) is another who has sat out recent pre-season games, while Jack Lankester has only recently returned to action following a long-term back injury.
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“We’ve still got one or two injuries and I can’t risk them at the minute,” said the Blues boss. “It’s two cup games before it really starts, so I’ll take a bit of caution with the guys who are carrying little knocks. If they are not ready then I won’t take the risk.”
He added: “The two goalkeepers haven’t trained much. Tomas (Holy) has got an injury (shoulder) and (David) Cornell came in at a later stage.”
Town don’t have any real back-up options in goal given Harry Wright in on loan at Swedish club GAIS and Adam Przybek is away with Wales Under-21s.
Another player away on international duty is Armando Dobra (Albania’s Under-21s).