Alex Neil delivered some good news when he spoke to the media at Colney on Thursday morning regarding the fitness of two key players ahead of the derby game with Ipswich on Sunday.
Ivo Pinto and Steven Naismith are likely to be back in the squad, Neil told the Pink ‘Un.com
Naismith has been a big miss since the transfer or Robbie Brady, just as the Scottish forward was coming into some form akin to that which he had previously displayed for Everton, persuading City to pay £8m for him. Ivo Pinto has also been out on the training field this week, although his replacement Steven Whittaker hasn`t done two much wrong since deputising for the Portuguese flyer. Neil also suggested that Youssouf Mulumbu could be available but Nelson Oliveira (foot) definitely won`t.
“I don`t think Nelson will make it but we have possibly two of the other lads who will be available. Ivo has been able to do some work this week so that is good news,” said Neil.
“Steven is fine, he is okay, I am hopeful he will be fit for the game. I think Steven could be thrown back in, even though we know what this game is all about. He is certainly at his most peak level of fitness since he joined the club. He has been working extremely hard. When I say he is ready to play, I don`t mean he has done just one training session. He has been training for the majority of this week. He will be fit and ready if required.’
Good news regarding Naismith and Pinto, I’d say. The combative nature of Naismith will be very useful and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him start on the left in this game. Pinto’s pace is always a killer for the opposition and will be a major weapon if he’s able to start.