Graham Dorrans and Nelson Oliveira are both fit and in contention for the visit of Barnsley on Saturday in the Sky Bet Championship.
Oliveira has missed the last few weeks with a foot problem which he picked up in the 5-1 win over Nottingham Forest, while Dorrans hasn’t played since Reading on Boxing Day, due to a knee ligament injury. Both men have trained all this week Alan Irvine revealed, when he spoke to the media on Friday.
This is what he told the Pink ‘Un
“Nelson and Graham are both back in the squad,” Irvine said. “That is great news on both fronts because they are important players for us. They have trained all week, and trained well all week. Dozzer(!) has been out since December and Nelson had the suspension followed fairly soon by the injury. Prior to that they were playing well. The feeling was we would have a look at them over the course of this week and make a decision. Graham has done a lot of rehab work.
“We have a couple of injury and illness issues that we hope will be resolved by matchday. Unfortunately I have not been able to name the team, which I would normally do by this stage of the week, but I am waiting for confirmation on a couple of players really.
“I have enjoyed the week. It is good to have worked so intensely with the players as I have done. From their point of view they have been very good on the training ground. Just as I expect, extremely professional, worked hard and there has been a good atmosphere around training.
“I have done it how I myself would approach a week on the training field, so there were some slightly different training methods and practices; just because that is how I work. I am not saying it is because that is better or worse than what has gone before. I didn`t have any problem with the methods before. We all have our own style and how we try to get messages across. Hopefully that has prepared the players in the right way but time will tell.”
Great news to have both these lads back fit again. Dorrans will be useful due to a lack of fit midfielders and Oliveira has been sorely missed, as Cameron Jerome has had to carry the load up front on his own.
Having said that, Jerome has been superb in this difficult time and has gone up in my estimation. His work rate has never been in question but the way he spoke after Sheffield Wednesday took some balls and fair play to him for that.
He’s been scoring goals lately and let’s be honest, if he could finish all the chances he gets he’d be a very expensive/valuable player. That has always been his downfall but I don’t think anyone can doubt his effort or integrity.