Ross Gives Update…

Jack Ross is still looking for a forward ahead of the visit of Sheffield Wednesday, but it’s unlikely that anyone will arrive in time. He also needs to balance his squad, with only two fit strikers at the club, Josh Maja and Chris Maguire. Ross said: “We’re still trying to do something. It’s difficult to say with certainty whether we’ll manage to have anyone else involved in the squad by Thursday. We’re very light in the forward areas at the moment, but there has to be a balance with how anyone we will bring in will blend with the players coming back. We don’t want to end up with the squad being too heavy. If we do recruit, it will have to be the right player to balance with what we’ve got. I’m looking forward to the game, although it is in the middle of a busy period. We have to assess our squad because we’re light and we pay three league games in six days after Thursday. There are players who have done well in training who might get a chance on Thursday night. There is a balancing act because we have three really important league games to come. I have to be very careful because Josh and Chris (Maguire) are all we have up front really. We have to look after them ahead of these important league games as well.”

He also stated that Lee Cattermole will remain part of his plans, until he leaves. “From my perspective, nothing changes. He’s been part of our squad from day one of pre-season. His training and how he’s conducted himself, he’s been a credit to himself. Then, it’s about me picking a squad on what we need for specific games. He will remain part of the squad until I’m directed otherwise. We’ve managed to do a lot in a short period of time to help us be in a stronger position. From my perspective in terms of looking solely at football, he remains part of the squad at present.

The gaffer also gave an injury update ahead of the Carabao Cup clash against Sheffield Wednesday on Thursday night. " Dylan McGeouch hasn’t really worsened in any respect. Every time he thinks he’s ready to go he just seems to have a little setback with it. There’s still an outside possibility he could be involved on Sunday. As I think I’ve mentioned before, Dylan had a few muscular injuries at the beginning of his career and kind of got to the bottom of it and is now meticulous in what he does with his body. We’re trying to help him with that so that when he does come back he’s absolutely fine. If he's right when he comes back he'll be fine, if he's not quite then there's the risk of it worsening. He’s desperate to get back playing. For me, Sunday is obviously the one we want him for. There’s still a possibility."

Ross had more positive news regarding Charlie Wyke, Tom Flanagan and Jerome Sinclair: "Wyke’s doing well. He’s ahead of schedule, he’s back out running so touch wood that will accelerate things. Of course, that battle goes on with the medical team because their timescale is usually a little longer. Charlie, Tom Flanagan, Jerome, the good thing is they’re desperate to push to get back quicker. They’re desperate to get back playing with us. You have to put the reins on a little with them but that’s encouraging for me. Ethan [Robson] trained today, so we’ll include him in the squad for Thursday but we’ll have to assess as today was his first day back. Reece James will be more involved as he needs games. Aiden McGeady hasn’t really done anything since the end of last season, he’s had a quite significant amount of time out. He’s probably a couple of weeks away still and then you have to consider match fitness, because he’ll very much be playing catch up. It will be about three months then when you factor in the summer break."

Finally, Jack Ross on Papy Djilobodji and Didier Ndong’s future: “It’s disappointing when it comes to that with professional players conducting themselves in that manner. Again, from a contractual and legal aspect, I’m not entirely sure. I don’t think the club is under any obligation to pay them as far as I’m aware, because obviously they’ve failed to report for work. It’s not a healthy situation and I don’t think it’s ideal; it’s disappointing when it comes to that with professional players conducting themselves in that manner. For me, certainly from a football perspective and a management aspect, it’s been okay. Selfishly for me, it’s been okay because they’ve never been here. I’ve never really had to worry about it. I do feel for Stewart [Donald] and the board in that sense, because they have to carry that burden and then try and find a solution. I think Tony Coton and Richard Hill have worked incredibly hard at trying to do that. I think for everybody concerned it would be better if there was a solution found before the end of the window.”