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Ollie and Zach in contention for the trip to Blackpool

Ethan Chislett unlikely to be involved this Saturday

4 March 2021

Forwards Ollie Palmer and Zach Robinson are both in contention for the trip to Blackpool on Saturday, but midfielder Ethan Chislett is likely to be unavailable.

“The good thing is that after the friendly game at Eastbourne on Tuesday night, we’ve got options coming into the squad now,” said First Team Coach Rob Tuvey at the training ground today.

“We haven’t had that many attacking options in recent weeks, especially with Shayon (Harrison) getting injured. Now though we’ve got those options with Zach and Ollie having got minutes. It’s a massive positive for the squad and there are some important decisions for us to make.

“Ethan Chislett has picked up a slight knock, so he will probably be out as Saturday is likely to come too soon for him. He was on the bench the other night, but he said to us in the warm-up at Shrewsbury that it didn’t feel quite right. We couldn’t bring him on and that’s developed since that he now needs three- or four-days rest just to ease back in. Apart from that, we’re all good.”

There was better news about the return to action of both defender Paul Kalambayi and new striker Corie Andrews.

“Paul Kalambayi was back out running today,” said Rob. “He’s probably three or four weeks away from when we can get him back involved in games. With the under 23s friendlies we’ve arranged, he’ll have games to ease his recovery back in.

“Corie has been back out running and hopefully we can get him back with the group in the next week or two. That will be a bonus, because he was doing well before his injury.

“What I’ve been really pleased about is that the younger boys in the squad are really pushing at the moment. The quality that they are showing is really good. We’ve got development friendlies lined up for the next month – every Tuesday – which is key.

“With the Covid situation and the situation in the Conference South, loans have become really hard for us to find. What we’ve had to do is create our own little games programme and Michael Hamilton (Academy Manager) deserves a lot of credit for that.”

Ayoub Assal also came in for some deserved praise. The attacking midfielder worked with Rob in our Academy and scored his first senior goal on his league debut at Shrewsbury on Tuesday evening.

“He text Robbo and said, ‘I won’t be happy until I’ve won the Ballon d’Or!” said Rob.

“Once you get to know Ayoub, you can’t shut him up! He loves to talk football and he’s so passionate about it. It’s an absolute credit to him and his family for what he’s been able to do, but I know it’s only the start.”

Watch the full interview with First Team Coach Rob Tuvey below, via the link to our official YouTube channel.


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