Chris Maguire is fit to face Accrington Stanley this weekend, but the match come a little early for Lee Cattermole, who is back in training but, will have to wait until next Tuesday against Walsall for a run out. "Chris Maguire has trained today and should be okay,” said Jack Ross. “Lee Cattermole has trained a couple of days this week, so all being well he will be back in the squad for the Walsall game, as he’s obviously been out for about a month now. I’m really pleased with how he’s looked in training, and he feels good as well. Tuesday was Duncan’s first game back, so we’re getting there but we still have Ethan Robson, Donald Love and Denver Hume out. We’re probably getting close to being the healthiest we have all season.”
The gaffer then chatted about the imminent return of both Charlie Wyke and Duncan Watmore: “I would hope by the end of month Charlie Wyke would be there or thereabouts in terms of being available for the squad. I take the responsibility for rushing him the first time, not in relation to the re-injury because that was completely separate. Just the levels he was at, I think we asked a lot of him too quickly. Whereas this time we've been a bit more patient, he feels a lot better physically and mentally. He looks a lot sharper and if we can do that for another couple of weeks, when he comes back he'll be an asset for us. It's been challenging for him. One is that he's desperate to do well here. He's a good character, he's quite a strong character, positive. He's taken the blows of the two injuries really well in terms of saying, 'OK I'm going to get through and I still believe I can contribute to the season'. I've certainly seen that from him. Then, on the training pitch, I've spoken about that psychological impact, he definitely thinks he's going to come back and be at it this time. As I said, I take my responsibility for rushing him back too quickly. The clearest way of saying it is that if in January we signed Charlie Wyke and Duncan Watmore, everyone would say those were brilliant signings. Having them back in that period will be a big bonus for us. Charlie gives us something that we don't have from our other forward players. I've spoken about Duncan and how he's a threat in behind that the others don't really do. Charlie gives us a presence, an aerial target. He's a threat from cross balls which gives us a different dynamic to our game. It gives us a presence in both boxes from set pieces, so there are loads of pluses that he'll give us when he's back. The players know that, as well. I think I've got an intelligent squad in that way, they recognise the attributes of the players in it and they'll know that Charlie being back available, whether it be from the bench or starting games, can benefit them as well."
Despite all this Watmore won’t feature against Accrington but will play against Walsall (again) next Tuesday and then probably be on the bench against Bristol Rovers on December 15: "Duncan will not be involved on Saturday, but that was always the plan," said Ross. "He's had no adverse reaction to Tuesday, mentally he feels brilliant, physically he is a bit stiff as you could imagine after so long out. But the plan was always for him to be involved in that game and then we'll look at him next week potentially for the FA Cup replay, and then we start to build up towards Bristol. It's actually worked out really well in terms of the timing of the games. We had targets and plans in place and we have steadfastly remained true to them, it's worked really well so far, and we'll keep doing that."
In other news, Stewart Donald, Charlie Methven and Juan Sartori have joined the Gift of Football campaign by purchasing 50 adult tickets each. Stewart Donald said: “We have seen an amazing response to this initiative over the weekend and it’s only right that Charlie, Juan and I play our part by each donating 50 tickets. Christmas should be a time for family and friends, yet for so many it can be one of the hardest periods of the year. Our fans are known for their generous spirit and the response so far has been overwhelming. We’d love to see more fans and even businesses get involved. By working together, we really can make a difference to our community.”
Charlie Methven added “This is the One Club philosophy in action: all parts of the SAFC community coming together to have a good time and achieve things. There will be many who simply cannot contribute, and we fully understand that, but we urge those who can do so to help make this Christmas really special for those in less fortunate circumstances.”
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