The Imps have been rocked by the news that Josh Griffiths could miss the remainder of the season after suffering ankle ligament damage in the weekend’s win against Sheffield Wednesday.
Griffiths was forced off in the dying minutes of the game, and missed the match against Ipswich Town, with Jordan Wright making his debut. The severity of the injury is not clear, but manager Michael Appleton believes that it could be the end of the player’s stint with the Imps. “He’s not our player so I imagine West Brom will take that decision out of our hands and he won’t be available for any part of the season,” he said in this morning’s press conference.
That means Wright will play tomorrow against Wimbledon, but going forward we may have to request an emergency loan. However, that isn’t straightforward, as the boss explained.
“There’s only a small number of goalkeepers you can choose from,” he added in this morning’s press conference. “You can’t take players from Premier League clubs, it has to be Football League, and at this stage of the season, clubs can be reluctant to let players go. And if they come in, they have to play, that’s the ruling. We’d have to make sure, if we did do that, that they are more advanced and more experienced than Jordan is at this moment in time.”
City are no strangers to the emergency loan of keepers, having taken Joe Bursik from Stoke City for one game last season. Bursik is not an option this time around; he’s currently vying for the number one shirt at his parent club, tussling with Jack Bonham. Another option closed to the Imps is former loanee Alex Palmer; he recently joined Luton Town on an emergency loan, and that’s likely to be extended for this weekend’s game, making him a no go.
The injury, and subsequent problem over who will play number one, reminisce of 2010/11, when stopper Trevor Carson was recalled by Sunderland, ironically also in mid-March, to be replaced by Elliot Parrish. The Aston Villa man then fumbled his way through the final matches of the season, costing the Imps our Football League place. The difference here is twofold; firstly Griffiths doesn’t want to leave because of the state of the squad and morale, and secondly, we have a decent backup on the evidence of Tuesday night, Jordan Wright.
It’s still not good news as we head into the final straight, looking to secure our League One survival.