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Preview: Brown discusses defensive injury concerns ahead of Rochdale

31 August 2017

Phil Brown is facing the prospect of starting one or two youngters on Saturday that were involved in first team duties in Tuesday’s Checkatrade Trophy game at Gillingham.

Elvis Bwomono, Dru Yearwood, Amadou Ba and Michael Klass all played in some capacity that night.

The Blues boss says he is having to deal with a ‘defensive crisis’ at the moment.

Anton Ferdinand, John White, Rob Kiernan and Michael Turner are all either out or touch and go, and Jason Demetriou is away on International duty with Cyprus.

Brown said: “As near as damn it [it’s a defensice crisis].”

“In the last four years I don’t think I’ve had four centre backs sitting in the treatment room, a right back away on international duty, a right back deputising at centre half and a left back with a broken leg. Apart from that it’s ok!

“You look at the young lads [that have their picture on the walls at the training ground] and three or four of them are going to be playing on Saturday.

“Elvis stepped into Jason Demetriou’s shoes and did a great job and was probably the highlight of the night I would imagine.

“Dru Yearwood going into centre midfield and Amadou Ba up top and then Michael Klass coming on into midfield in the second half, to get two or three kids through in the first team, regardless of whether there were six or seven players in the treatment room, was positive.

“So the signs were good and certainly positive towards Saturday’s team selection and with the injuries picked up on Tuesday night, I’m going to have to use one or two of them.

“But I believe Rochdale have got the same crisis, whether it’s in the strike-force in the midfield or at the back.

“Ours seems to be focussing on the back four.”

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