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Team News: Powell provides update ahead of Doncaster

8 March 2018

Chris Powell says John White is progressing well and could be available for Blues’ trip to Blackpool next weekend.

The defender has been sidelined since going off in the 1-0 win over Peterborough at the start of February with ankle ligament damage.

White won’t be fit for Doncaster this Saturday, and Rochdale might also be too soon, but Blackpool is a realistic target.

“I’ve got virtually a fully fit squad, so no doubt I’ll be using it to keep us fresh and keep the energy levels up,” said Powell.

“I’m never adverse to changing teams, even on the back of a win because sometimes you may need that to keep everyone mentally and physically right.

“Only really John White, Ted Smith and Rob Kiernan – who is long term - out of the first team group are unavailable.

“John is progressing pretty well. He’s outside, he’s been running and typical of John, he’s been one of the first ones in and doing his work diligently. He’s been doing more than what he should do, because that’s the character he is.

“He won’t be ready for Doncaster, I doubt he’ll be ready for Rochdale but there’s a very good chance for Blackpool.

“With Rob I don’t know how long he will be, and that’s the honest truth.

“It’s been a long road for Rob, and players like him that have been out for a while, they need the support and they don’t need rushing.

“We’re going to make sure we give Rob enough time and support and that he gets back fit, well and available in the not too distant future.”

Michael Kightly and Anthony Wordsworth both made comebacks last weekend, and Powell admits he’s got some tough decisions to make.

“It’s giving me a few headaches with regards to the squad and unfortunately one or two will miss out, that’s the nature of the game.

“In some ways you want the players out there because they’ll keep driving each other on and prove themselves to be in the team.

“It’s good that the options are there and if the 11 aren’t doing it, you can bring someone on who knows the level.

“I’ve had to leave a few players out, as I did last week, but the response from everyone is to keep driving each other and prove that the level of performance will be back to what I want and especially what the players want, because they set the benchmark.”

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