Gabe Osho will miss the remainder of the season through injury, manager Nathan Jones has confirmed.
The versatile midfielder suffered a hamstring injury during the away defeat against Middlesbrough last month and it’s an issue that will keep him sidelined for the rest of the campaign.
The news was revealed by Jones during his pre-match press conference ahead of tonight’s game against Peterborough, saying: “It’s a real blow. Because of the relentless schedule and because of injuries to other midfield players, he had to play more than we would have liked.
"When people say we change the team, if you don’t do that and we play like we do and demand like we do, they are going to pick up injuries and then they are going to be out for longer. When we change the team it’s not because we want to tinker, if we could play the team we knew was going to win the game, same eleven every week, then alright you want to do it but you can’t do that in the Championship.
"It’s where you need a squad, competitiveness, a humble group that continue to work hard together and that challenge each other, that’s what we have. Gabe was unfortunate because he had to play Saturday, then Wednesday against Chelsea which was a massive shift, and then he had to do it again at Middlesbrough, and that’s invariably what got him injured.
"He’s been outstanding, absolutely outstanding, for his first full season in Championship football as a first team player, last year he did really well, had a brief loan at Yeovil to get him game time and then was excellent at Rochdale, and we had so many opportunities to loan him out this year, a lot of big clubs wanted to take him, but we believed he would be, we told him to keep being patient, keep being patient and he’s shown that he can be excellent in a number of positions and we’re delighted he’s our player."
Jordan Clark is another absentee set to be unavailable for the trip to the Weston Homes Stadium, whilst Luke Berry is a player Jones and his staff are monitoring ahead of the match.
"Clark is a couple of weeks away and Berry is day to day. He has just been ill, not Covid but he’s been ill. Just building him back up so tomorrow may come too soon but we will see how he recovers from training today. Clark is a miss for us because he’s been in wonderful form but now it gives someone else a chance to step up."
Despite Peterborough struggling for form at the bottom of the Sky Bet Championship, the manager stressed the importance of not overlooking Grant McCann’s side, stating there is no easy game in the league.
"It’s a Championship test and that’s all you need to know as a Championship test is tough on every level it’s tough. We’ve had some tough battles with them, it’s going to be as tough a game as we could have envisaged, it’s the toughest one as it’s the next one, they’re all different in the Championships, but all equally as difficult.
"I can’t second guess what Grant and what people would be feeling, but they’ll not want to roll over and we know that they’ll maybe want a reaction and we’ll be wary of that. All I can affect is how we play, I can’t affect how they prepare and what they do and what they emotionally are feeling, all I can do is prepare our team and they can’t have any more motivation than us."
Additionally, Jones commented on the news that Paul Hart has become the new Academy Director and provided a rave review of the man he refers to as his 'football father'.
“It’s as big a signing as you can have. Paul Hart has been fundamental in our rise from 2016 to now, he’s been a mentor for me, he’s been a constant support for me, I’ve got a wonderful father, I really have, but Paul’s a football father if you like for me.
"He has been amazing for the football club and the environment and the culture we try to attain, but what he excels in, what he’s really been groundbreaking in is youth development.
"The sides he created at Leeds United at Nottingham Forest, and then at Charlton, where I had the pleasure of working with him, when he changed my football life, he changed my life in terms of seeing things in certain ways.
"Once I knew the club wanted to make a change then I approached Harty and then I went to the club and said I would like this and they were in agreement and if I could persuade him, or we could persuade him as a club to take that role, then it would be a coup, and we’ve managed to do that.
"It’s a wonderful, wonderful coup, he’s experienced, he’s an innovative thinker in terms of what he does and he develops footballers, develops human beings, it’s as big a signing as this club have had for a long, long time."