There was a significant injury boost for City boss Paul Lambert today, with Jens Berthel Askou and Michael Spillane set for a Canary return in the reserves’ clash at Wycombe tonight.
Askou was proving to be one of the success stories of 2009/10 before a broken metatarsal sustained at Yeovil in mid-December put him out of action.
And Spillane has been on the sidelines even longer after pulling his hamstring in the 5-1 victory over Bristol Rovers at the start of October.
Their return to action is a huge fillip for Lambert and Co, although they will have a fight on their hands to get into the starting eleven, with Messrs Doherty, Nelson and Martin (R) in fine form.
Adam Drury and now Michael Rose have the left-back gig covered so it will be a case of trying to dislodge the two centre-backs or, in Spillane’s case, Martin.
We must not forget about Zak Whitbread either; Lambert didn’t bring him to Norfolk to warm the bench.
The Scot has already confirmed his admiration of the US-born Scouser and he now has genuine competition all across the backline.
And now the Canary chief will just be hoping that Askou and Spillane come through tonight’s Totesport.com Combination East Division encounter unscathed, with the Dane in from the start and the young Irishman expected to come off the bench.
“Jens returned to full training on Monday and Michael has been back for a couple of weeks,” said reserves boss Ian Crook, speaking to the club’s official site.
“They’ll probably have a half each as they need game time now to get back to match fitness. Wycombe are unbeaten in the reserve league this season and no doubt will have a decent side out.
“It’ll be a good run out for both sets of players and I’m expecting a good game, and hopefully we can build on last week’s win over Stevenage Borough.”
Elsewhere in Crook’s line-up, George Francomb continues to get some minutes to his name after recovering from a thigh injury and first team fringe players Anthony McNamee and Matt Gill also have a chance to impress.
Meanwhile City defender Rhoys Wiggins, who joined Bournemouth on a ’emergency’ loan last week, has revealed that he’s delighted to be back on the south coast after a similar loan spell there during his time at Crystal Palace.
He made his second debut in the 2-1 win at Crewe which kept the Cherries in second place in League Two.
And after a frustrating season in Norfolk, with injuries hampering his progress, he sees the move to Dorset as a positive one.
“I got a call from the manager Eddie Howe asking if I’d like to come back and I said yes with no hesitation,” he told Bournemouth’s official site.
“There’s a great bunch of lads here and I know everyone which is great. It’s a totally different situation from when I came here a year ago and I want to do my best to help get the club promotion.
“It was a great start and as a team I thought we dug in really well at Crewe. We defended well and put bodies on the line and we couldn’t have asked for a lot more from the team. It was a decent performance and we now have to do it again at Rotherham.
“There was a lot of weight off the shoulders with the win after three defeats, and hopefully now we can follow that up with a positive result at Rotherham.”
City reserves to face Wycombe (a) tonight: Rudd, Francomb, Gordon, D.Stephens, Askou, McVeigh, McNamee, Gill, Adeyemi, Dawkin, D.Kelly.
Subs: Steer (GK), Spillane, Clarke, Lathrope, Oakley.