Lambert hopeful of Harrison return while Nolan remains sidelined... as boss insists Ward’s time will come
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Ipswich Town manager Paul Lambert is hopeful Ellis Harrison will be fit to return after the international break but will be without Jon Nolan and Myles Kenlock for Saturday’s trip to Reading.
Harrison has not featured since suffering an ankle ligament injury in training at the end of September but is working his way back to full health.
Kenlock is training but is still short of match fitness following an ankle problem of his own, while Nolan will miss out once again after suffering a dead leg.
“Myles trained but I still think he’s a little short of it and I don’t think he’s fit enough to play,” Lambert said.
“Physically he’s in a good place but fitness levels for a game, it’s still a bit early.
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“Ellis is doing well and hopefully he’ll be back after the international break.
“They are starting to make headway which is good news.
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“Jon’s got a dead leg, quite a bad one in training and this is just a little bit early for him.
“We’re not too bad in this moment but the lads are maybe feeling a little bit of difference in the way we train and you get little things from that which is to be expected.
“But they’ve been great and have given everything in training and are doing the right things which is all we can ask from them.
“We’re ready for the game and we’re looking forward to it.”
Lambert revealed he opted to leave winger Grant Ward out of his side for his first game against Preston last weekend, with the new Blues boss admitting picking an 18 proved difficult.
“I can only pick 18,” he said.
“It’s very tough to pick a squad because everybody was great in training. I can only pick from what I see and I picked a team and a bench I thought was best. Wardy’s chance, as well as others, will come as long as their focus is there and team spirit is there.
“He’ll get his chance and it’s up to him to take it.”
“Since I’ve been here attitude hasn’t been a problem.
“We’re a really close group which you certainly need and we need everybody, not just 18 guys. We need everybody to be at a level where if someone is injured or suspended then (they can come in). We have to have everyone available.”
Danny Rowe played the final 13 minutes of the Preston draw as a substitute but Lambert still wants the winger to work on his fitness further.
“He’s a good footballer but Danny needs to be a bit fitter to play the way I want to play,” he said.
“But with the ball there’s no problem and he did well once he came on.”
Teddy Bishop has been training with the first team but Lambert has stressed the need for patience as the midfielder continues to work his way back from hamstring trouble.