Steven Naismith will miss tomorrow’s trip to Wigan with the hamstring strain that saw him miss the 0-1 win at Cardiff on Saturday, Alex Neil confirmed when he spoke at Colney on Monday to the EDP
Alex Tettey will also miss out as he starts the first of his two game ban for collecting 10 bookings over the course of the season.
“Of course missing Alex is a big loss,” said Neil.
“He has played in virtually every game. Normally you have constants in the spine of your team and Alex is in that category. Similar to Jonny Howson, Ivo Pinto. Guys who play all the time in the main when they are available. Other lads will get an opportunity now and when some of them have come in they have performed really well. We have adequate replacements. Youssouf is available. He has not done a great deal but we are hoping he is going to be okay.
“Steven is still struggling with the hamstring injury. We are not sure how long he will be out at this stage. He was touch and go for the weekend. We tried to get him up to speed for Wigan and it hasn`t really happened. That is disappointing. We will take it day by day.”
James Maddison is carrying a niggling back injury but rather surprisingly, Matt Jarvis will travel with the squad, Neil also explained.
“James would have been in the squad (for Wigan) but unfortunately he has an issue with his back at the minute,” said Neil. “He hasn`t been featuring. It is not something that is going to be a long term issue. Just a few bits of discomfort at the present time. Matt will come with us.”
Yanic Wildschut is set to endure the wrath of Wigan after a rather acrimonious departure from the DW Stadium on transfer deadline day. It had been speculated that there may be a gentleman’s agreement in place that would see the winger sit out this game but that, is not the case and he’ll be with the squad.
Alex Neil also explained that his other January signing, Mitchell Dijks will be available after coming through his first game for about a month in the win over Cardiff.
“The really pleasing thing is after about 60 minutes he was feeling a bit of cramp,” said Neil. “He hasn`t played for a while with the winter break in Holland but he pretty much refused to come off the pitch. He took his gels, cracked on and got the job done. It shows mental strength as much as anything else. He`ll be fine. The one thing about him is he is determined to play. He hasn`t come here just to see how he does. He is desperate to get us to the Premier League and he wants to test himself at the highest level.”