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Updates on Clifford, McCormack, Olayinka, Goodship, White and Sterling

23 December 2020

Mark Molesley provides the latest team news ahead of Boxing Day’s clash with Colchester United.

Jason Demetriou returns from suspension for the game, but Richard Taylor will miss out after he picked up his fifth booking against Mansfield Town.

Here’s what the Blues boss said about six of his players at his pre-match press conference this week.

Tom Clifford

“Tom’s a difficult one. It’s opened up a nasty gash on the inside of his ankle which might have well hit a nerve. Sometimes with nerve damage that could be days, or it could be weeks.

“His progress has been good so far, but he still hasn’t been back on the training field yet.

“We’re literally taking a check on him daily, with the hope that he’s definitely not ruled out for Saturday.

“We’ll know a bit more about it in the coming days and can’t rule him in or out at the moment.”

Alan McCormack

“Bit of a potential calf issue there.

“Hopefully we caught it at the right time and got him off [the pitch], through his own experience and us not leaving him out there longer than he needed to be.

“Hopefully the sacrifice of us taking him off will hopefully pay dividends in him being available for this game.

“If it isn’t this game then hopefully not too far away for the game after, because they are coming in quick succession.

“It’s such a big game that we’re well aware we need all our big players fit and available. At the same time, we need our most fit and able and the most energy we can get on the pitch.”

James Olayinka

“James is back at Arsenal getting assessed so we’re hoping they will get to the bottom of his minor problem because he is still playing. He’s just having to rest quite a lot between games at the moment.

“We’re trying to break that cycle a little bit because he’s a young lad and time on the training pitch is just as important as the time in the games.

“Short term you can wrap him up and get him out for games, but long term he needs to fix that and get his work on the training pitch as well.

“Hopefully Arsenal will fix him this week and deliver him ready to play on Boxing Day.”

Brandon Goodship

“He’s booked in for his scan. Around this time of year it’s hard to get the type of scan that he needs.

“You need to get three specialists there at one time but it’s happening this week which is good.

“We will know how better to treat or whether he can start to step up his rehab.”

John White

“He’s starting team training this week and it’s great to have him back involved.

“He hasn’t missed a large chunk which will hopefully mean he’s ready to get involved in minutes straight away.

“He’s got a bank of work behind him now and he had a good few games before he re-injured himself.

“He showed what a huge asset and how important he is for us.

Kazaiah Sterling

“Kaz went back into Spurs and it’s a similar one to James where we’re managing his load through a bit of an injury.

“He’s back training this week and we’ll see how he responds to the training.”

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