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McCall provides an injury update and previews Bristol Rovers trip

15 November 2018

Manager Stuart McCall’s revealed defender Jordan Clarke doesn’t require an operation but he’s ruptured a tendon in his shoulder and faces a minimum of six weeks out.

The full-back came off with the injury during last week’s 2-1 FA Cup first round win over Burton Albion, and won’t return to action until at least the Christmas period.

McCall told iFollow Iron: “He was really coming into his own and showing leadership qualities on and off the park, so that’s a blow but it’s balanced up slightly with Funso (Ojo) coming back into the group.”

Ojo came through the Mansfield Checkatrade Trophy game in midweek unscathed and the boss says he will be ready if selected.

The boss explained Levi Sutton will be out of action for four-to-six weeks with a torn thigh sustained in training last week.

However, Charlie Goode has recovered from a calf problem which ruled him out of the last two games and has been back training. 

Matthew Lund, Lee Novak and Cameron Borthwick-Jackson trained on Thursday and came through it with no problem.

Josh Morris was also involved in a couple of drills in Thursday’s session and it is hoped he can return to full contact training next week. 

“He’s been scoring goals for fun and you can tell we’ve missed him because he has terrific quality on the ball,” added the boss.

Heading to Bristol Rovers this weekend, United will be looking to build on last week’s FA Cup success to register a first league win since the start of October.

Eight changes were made in midweek for the 3-2 Checkatrade Trophy group stage loss at Mansfield Town and McCall also provided some thoughts on that game which saw his game consequently exit the competition.

He said: “We’ve had two contrasting results with the cup games. It was a big win last Saturday in the FA Cup against a good Burton side. I think we managed the game really well after they got one back, with what was another 16 minutes when you include time added on. They didn’t have another shot on target so there were good things to pick up from that.

“When you look back at the Mansfield game, we were so disappointed to go out of it in that manner. We controlled the game for large spells and they had four shots, scoring three of them. We should have won the game but we didn’t.

“When I look back on (the Mansfield match), there were some good performances by certain individuals. Like always in these games, there were a couple who we were hoping would have done better than they did. Funso got a good 90 minutes under his belt and controlled it for us for large periods, coming through with no problem.

“Yas (Ben El-Mhanni) came in for his first game, scored one and made one so his confidence will be good. There were a couple of other decent performances but we don’t like losing football games, so that was a huge disappointment.

“We head down to Bristol to face a side who have stopped leaking goals, having gone to a back five. We’re always confident we can create and hopefully take the opportunities. It’s always a tough game there but one we’re looking forward to. It’s a quirky sort of stadium but they certainly get behind them there. It’s a game we’re looking to win and another chance to start climbing back up the league.”

See much more from Stuart McCall, Ryan Colclough, Ike Ugbo and Rory McArdle on iFollow Iron. Click here to sign up.

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