Manager Nathan Jones is pleased with the reaction from his players during recent training sessions ahead of Saturday’s clash with Wycombe Wanderers.
Following defeats against Derby County and Barnsley in quick succession after the international break, Jones admitted he will be ‘ruthless’ from now until the end of the season in order to finish as strongly as possible.
His squad was strengthened by the return of captain Sonny Bradley, who played 45 minutes against the Tykes after missing the last seven matches through injury.
“He’s a little bit stiff as he hasn’t trained very much. We put him in a little bit early the other day because of the necessity was that, but he just needs to gather a bit of momentum as he’s been out for a little spell and it wasn’t an easy game to come into as Barnsley are a very front-footed, energetic, direct team, that put it on you, so he won’t come up against much tougher opposition than that.”
However, the manager is set to be without Tom Ince for the foreseeable future following an injury he picked up following his return to Pride Park.
“Sadly for Tom, he is going to be out a little bit longer than we would have liked,” Jones informed the press. “He rolled his ankle and that is a painful one for Tom, that is why he missed out really.
“Tom was probably going to impact the last seven or eight games of the season because his last 90 minutes before coming to us was December 26th. He had a month without playing any first team football or any games and we knew we would have to build him up. He did have impact, a real impact at Preston away, real impact in the home game against Millwall. We always knew he was gathering pace but that has been curtailed slightly because of the injury.”
Ahead of Saturday’s match against Wycombe, the gaffer is well aware of the threat Wycombe pose and is under no illusions how difficult the match is set to be.
“The ironic thing is we were in that position last year so we know the motivation, we know what we did to teams last year and we have to get that back. I don’t think Wycombe will be any more motivated than the fact that, one they need the points and two there is a good healthy rivalry between the two clubs. We know it is going to be a tough game, as it always is when we play Wycombe.
“You know you are going to be tested physically when you come up against Wycombe, but we have a good record there and we have strengths of our own. If we turn up and we’re at it like we normally are then it will be a tough game for Wycombe as well. We’re a good side and we have a very good record against Wycombe.
“We would like to continue that, we know the strengths that Wycombe oppose, as do every Championship side, but also we are part of that Championship and we have strengths of our own, so we will be looking to exploit those.”