City defender Adam Jackson is out, again, after picking up a calf injury last week.
City face Morecambe tomorrow night, who boast in-form Cole Stockton up top, a player with 18 goals who we’ll need to keep quiet. He’s a strong forward with a good eye for goal, and yet we’ll likely be without our experienced centre back pairing for the Shrimpers visit.
That’s because Jackson, who has been out since before Christmas due to concussion protocols, is out again; this time he’s got a calf injury which means he not only missed the defeat at MK Dons, but won’t feature tomorrow either. Information about his absence was scarce at the weekend, but Michael offered clarification this morning, saying:
“Adam Jackson missed Saturday’s game with what we think is a calf injury – it presents as a calf problem but the scans don’t show anything other than a bit of swelling so we’re still getting to the bottom of it.”
He went on to confirm Jackson will miss the game against Stephen Robinson’s side, although in doing so he confirmed another of our walking wounded is set for a return.
“Having Joe Walsh back available for Tuesday is a big bonus, especially with Adam Jackson missing.”
Is it likely that Walsh will go straight into the side, looking to deal with Stockton’s threat? he’s a natural left-footed defender, so would component Regan Poole well, or maybe even TJ Eyoma. Poole has deputized superbly at centre back, picking up the SW Player of the Month Award last month with the highest collective score since you began rating players, but he may be required at right-back, with Ted Bishop not a certainty.
“We have a few knocks from Saturday to check out on Monday,” finished Michael. “Ted Bishop is having a scan as we manage his groin injury.”
That could mean a return to the lineup for Walsh, who has played at least three friendly matches in recent weeks, completing 90 minutes in his last game. If he does play, Poole could return to right-back, with Bishop given a break. That might bring a little stability to the right side of the defence, as Bishop has played very well, but isn’t a natural full-back and therefore hasn’t offered the sort of support to Morgan Whittaker that Cohen Bramall gives Anthony Scully.
There are a lot of ifs and buts, however the fact is we need to move towards a settled defence, with players able to play 15 games or so together in order to bring a degree of stability. With just two clean sheets in the league all season, it isn’t hard to spot where the Imps’ Achilles’ Heel is right now.