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Gaffer discusses squad options for Bolton

Clement on knocks and niggles and preparation for Trotters

17 August 2018

Mo Barrow, Leandro Bacuna and Yakou Meite all came off in our midweek game against Birmingham – but it’s not impossible that all three could feature this weekend against Bolton Wanderers.

He also discussed the progress some of the longer-term absentees as they push for a return.

“We’re still monitoring them – they all have a chance for the weekend and we’ll see how it goes on Friday,” Clement said.

“Meite is a bit sore, and Barrow’s injury has settled down a little bit but we want to explore further to see if it’s just uncomfortable or whether there’s an injury there.

“Bacuna’s ankle is a little bit sore but he’ll probably be okay for the weekend.  It’s probably a bit too soon for Sone Aluko; we will see how he responds to his rehab.

“Adrian Popa is training and he is available for selection – the only matter now is his conditioning because he’s missed a significant amount of time and other players are ahead in their condition.

“Chris Gunter is progressing well and it won’t be too long before he is back in training, although next week’s games might be too soon.

“Jordan Obita, Dave Edwards and Garath McCleary are a little bit further away, but Callum Harriott is progressing well.  He has been riddled with injuries so we have to be a bit more precautious – you don’t want to push them too soon.”

Should some of the short-term absentees be unavailable this weekend, the boss is well aware that he may need to adapt some of his match preparation.

“I have to consider how many are available from that group – and whether to go with the same formation and play someone there who isn’t really that position, or a system change,” he continued.

“If I do a system change, it might suit the players better but we won’t have practiced it as much in terms of hours of repetition and practice. 

“When I get the list of who’s available and who’s not, I’ll make that choice.  It is important to have Plan B.”

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