Leon Clarke & Kelvin Etuhu return to first team action, now its time to manage them
Manager David Flitcroft has spoken of his delight at the return of Leon Clarke and Kelvin Etuhu to the first team, but is aware that both players have to be managed in terms of fitness and injury prevention for the rest of the current season…
“Now it's, without a doubt, about managing both players to the end of the season. We have to manage their workloads, their training loads and making sure that their recovery is A1. It is absolutely vital that we end the season with the players not just intact, but in a really good state and looking forward to next season.
It’s certainly the case for Kelvin. He’s had a stop start season, he will be in the last year of his contract next season so I am expecting a really hungry player that will come out to dictate and dominate games like he can.
With Leon it’s a case of the more experience you get then the better you look after yourself. He has trained most days since he has been here, he never misses a training day. If he can train, he will. He’s very old fashioned in that way, he’s like one of the old style players that just wants to get out there.
Even if he has some sort of niggle or swelling, his way of getting around that will be to get out on the training ground. He has trained fantastically well and he was on his own special programme whilst he was away sorting out his personal issues. He is in good nick and he can come in and do what he did on Saturday, and cause opposition team problem after problem. He is a player that you do not want to play against and it’s great to have him back.
We probably will not see Jacob Mellis this season, there may be a chance we could get him back for the last week but we don’t want to risk it after his injury. The programme we have for Jacob is a summer programme and he will be in at Carrington over the summer working to get fit for pre-season. He is a player that we need to get more out of next season.
We watched Swindon against Oldham last Tuesday, unfortunately for them, Oldham were in a rich vein of form and Swindon struggled to cope with Oldham’s offensive play, Oldham were also very resolute at the back.
They have a new manager in place with a long contract and there is a bigger picture with them at the moment. Mark Cooper was unfortunate to lose his job there, he is a fantastic football man and last season they played the best football in League One by a country mile.
They have a way of playing and a way to do things. They have a project there that they have adhered to. They like to move the ball quickly at home and they like to have plenty of possession. We have a chance to go down there at the weekend and be very, very competitive against them."