In a season directed and shaped by injuries across the attack, it’s refreshing to be able to deliver some positive injury news coming out of Michael Skubala’s pre-match press conference.
City are preparing for their second match of the week against Leyton Orient, who did not play at the weekend. That leaves the opposition fresh, but the Imps had a scare when striker Jack Vale, the only fit first-team striker, came off injured at the weekend. The spectre of a winger up top appeared once again, with a fear that could be the situation for tomorrow evening’s game.
However, the first question in yesterday’s press conference was about Vale’s fitness, to which Skubala gave a positive response.
“Yeah, we’re looking okay with Jack,” replied our new head coach. “He felt his groin on Saturday, and with the injuries we have on the front line at the minute, I thought it was too risky to keep him on.
“He might have got through it, and then we might have lost him. It was a tough change to make, but we needed to see how he is. He got through a training session today, so we’ll see how he reacts again tomorrow morning.”
🔄 Michael Skubala makes his first change.
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Vale started only his second league game for the Imps, having previously started the 2-0 defeat against Oxford United during Tom Shaw’s reign. He signed under Mark Kennedy in September but, in a twist of fate, didn’t get to play for our former boss – he returned to fitness for the 3-1 victory against Charlton a week after Kennedy was sacked.
He currently has one goal and one assist to his name but has looked lively when pulling on a City shirt. Skubala seems intent on playing players in their correct positions; hence Vale getting a start in the former Leeds man’s first game in the dugout.
City travel to Brisbane Road to face Orient in the fixture rearranged from earlier in the season, where tragically home supporter Derek Reynolds lost his life in a medical incident pitchside. The Imps were losing that game 1-0, but the FA ordered a replay rather than allowing the score to stand.