Norwood Back Training and Fit for Gillingham Trip
Friday, 20th Sep 2019 11:17
Striker James Norwood is set to be fit to face Gillingham at the Priestfield Stadium on Saturday, despite limping off in the 35th minute of Tuesday’s 1-0 win away against the MK Dons.
Speaking to the media this morning Norwood declared himself fit and ready to play his part against the Gills.
“It’s OK, I’m training today, fit for selection for tomorrow so things are looking good. It’s all settled down well,” he said.
“It’s something I’ve been carrying, it just had a little bit too much on Tuesday but I’m good to go.”
Asked about Norwood’s confidence that he’ll be fit and able to play against Gillingham at his press conference, manager Paul Lambert added: “He seems to be. I’ll see how everybody else is, I’ll see how they all are this morning and see if there’s any reaction to Tuesday night.”
Quizzed on whether he was worried when he saw his five-goal top scorer hobble off on Tuesday, the Blues boss said: “I’ve seen players come off before in early parts of the game and then they’re fit on the Saturday.
“It all depends on that given moment and that given time and hopefully it’s not too serious. He’ll train this morning and then we’ll judge it from there like we normally do.”
However, Lambert says Keane, who underwent hamstring surgery early in the summer, isn’t yet ready to start matches.
“No, I don’t think so," he continued. "I think that’s a big ask because of the amount of time Will’s been out.
“There’s a few of them there where it was their first 90 minutes for a good time, so we’ll see how they are this morning, and I’ll decide from there.”
The other players involved the other night in a similar position to Keane were Luke Garbutt, who had been out for a month with a knee injury, Jon Nolan, making his first league start since April after a calf injury, and Emyr Huws, who was starting his first league game since the final day of the 2016/17 season having been out with knee problems.
He says Tuesday’s first league start was a big step for Huws: “Massive, I think psychologically it was huge for him. I’m delighted with his performance, he set up the goal with a terrific cross.
“At the time I thought it was Garbutt that crossed it but it was Emyr, so I’m really happy with him and how he performed.
“The secret is to keep him fit and contributing, whether it’s off the bench or starting games I think it’s great for him.”
Lambert is pleased that so many of the sidelined senior players are involved again: “The pleasing thing is the ones that are coming back are big players, which is important.
“I said eight weeks ago sitting at Burton with three young kids on the bench that it was never enough, never in a million years was it enough, and it’s been proven right.
“That was the case because we’ve utilised every player to come back, and every player has performed, so that’s the pleasing thing.”
Also back after injury is young striker Ben Folami, who has featured for the U23s having been out since January with a torn achilles. However, Lambert says the Australian U19 international faces a battle to get into the first-team frame given the side’s current form.
“Ben has trained with us a couple of times and he’s doing really well, but there’s no pressure from me or anybody at the club to rush him back.”
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