A trio of Blackburn Rovers defenders are facing a race against time to be fit for their away clash with Derby County this weekend, according to Tony Mowbray.
Three of the club’s key players this season in Ryan Nyambe, Daniel Ayala and Harry Pickering have not trained all week according to Mowbray, but if they get through the club’s final session on Friday before their trip to Pride Park then they will be available for selection.
Ayala is the one player that has had fitness issues throughout his career and it was a concern when he arrived at Ewood Park – and he only played 10 times in the Championship last season because of it.
The Spaniard had played every single minute of every league match so far this season though until he was withdrawn in the first half against Reading this past weekend, owing to a calf issue he picked up during the game.
The same injury occurred to left-back Pickering pre-match on Saturday, which forced his withdrawal and he was replaced by Tayo Edun.
Mowbray then suffered another blow on Saturday when flying wing-back Nyambe was forced off on the hour mark against the Royals, but it seems that there was no damage sustained to the hamstring and that it was more a bout of cramp that the Namibia international suffered.
All three defenders have a chance of facing Wayne Rooney’s side but it all depends if they come through tomorrow’s session unscathed.
Mowbray could really do with all three of his injured players being passed fit for the weekend – and if none of them are then there could be a disaster.
He has enough depth to cope with replacing them in the starting line-up but then if another player drops injured against the Rams then there would be major issues.
They coped well enough against Reading in the final half an hour with a much-changed defence and on paper Derby’s attack isn’t as strong as the Royals’, so Rovers may be able to get away with it just about if none of their doubts are passed fit.
On the flip side of things though it could give a chance for the likes of Jan Paul van Hecke and Hayden Carter to prove their worth to Mowbray if they’re given a shot from the start, so there’s a lot to ponder for the Rovers management team ahead of the weekend.
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