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CROOKS SUSPENDED FOR BLACKBURN GAME WITH INGRAM RATED 'TOUCH & GO'

Team news as the Cobblers prepare to welcome Blackburn Rovers to Sixfields

19 December 2017

The Cobblers will be without midfielder Matt Crooks (suspended) for Saturday’s home game against Blackburn Rovers as well as the Boxing Day trip to Doncaster.

Crooks is set to serve a two-match ban after picking up his second red card of the season on Saturday.

Matt Ingram (shoulder) is rated as 'touch and go' with Sam Hoskins (ankle) battling to be fit.

“Matt has gone back to QPR to be assessed,” confirmed boss Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink.

“He has a problem with the muscles in his shoulder, it’s not bad but we don’t know if he will make it on Saturday. He will be touch and go.

“If not for Blackburn he should be back for Doncaster but I think David Cornell has done well.

"After the start we had last Saturday it would have been easy to let that affect you as a goalkeeper but David showed fantastic character to overcome that and I thought he played well.

“Sam Hoskins has been back running this week and we are hopeful. Daniel Powell is training regularly but he’s not sprinting fully yet and we have to be a little bit careful with him. The injury is with his tendons and it has been frustrating to be so close but so far with him and we have decided to be very cautious."

Hasselbaink also spoke about the importance of John-Joe O’Toole to the team and managing him through the busy festive schedule.

“I’m very wary of keeping John-Joe fit, we weren’t planning on playing him for the full 90 minutes on Saturday but in the end I had to risk it.

“We are giving him extra recovery time but he is still playing with a little bit of pain. The pain won’t go that easily and it will be a while before that has gone and we will have to see how we are going to manage that over Christmas.

“John-Joe is a focal point for us and his presence is very important.”


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