Carlisle United Manager Paul Simpson has given a new injury update on the club’s official website after making a number of changes for their EFL Trophy fixture against Accrington Stanley.
The Cumbrians travelled to Accrington on Tuesday, hopeful of making a good start in the competition but fell short, losing 1-0 through a second half Corey Whelan own-goal.
Simpson had made a total of nine changes to his side which beat Shrewsbury Town on Saturday, which was the League One newcomers first three points of the season. The much-changed side however could not keep a winning run alive and the attention will now change to their away fixture at Stevenage on Saturday.
Although, as always the case in the EFL Trophy, rotation is very much expected but the extent to the change in the Carlisle team did come as somewhat of a surprise. However Simpson did admit after the loss that he didn’t want to make that many changes and his decisions were largely down to knocks and injuries in the squad.
The most severe seems to be a calf strain to centre-back Ben Barclay, who many supporters expected to see start in the EFL Trophy having not seen many league minutes so far this season. Speaking on Barclay’s injury, which he supposedly picked up doing work on the pitch after Saturday’s game, Simpson said:
“We had it scanned today and, like I say, it’s a four to six-week job. It’s such an innocuous thing as well. It didn’t look much but then he’s had the scan and it’s shown up that I think they said it’s a 10cm tear in his soleus muscle so it’s going to set him back a few weeks.”
Both starting centre-halves, Paul Huntington and Sam Lavelle were also absent from the squad. Huntington was very much left out of the squad for a rest, as seems to be the case with Lavelle however Simpson has stated that Lavelle has suffered a slight niggle to his hamstring.
“Sam Lavelle had a little bit of tiredness from the weekend in his hamstring, it’s not a strain but I didn’t want to risk him.”
The decision to leave Lavelle out of the match-day squad was very much a precaution and it would be expected that the ex-Charlton Athletic defender will be starting on Saturday.
Simpson also gave an update on summer signing Dylan McGeouch who although hasn’t been at full fitness since joining, did start on Tuesday night. The midfielder was pulled off after 62 minutes in what was a solid display from the Scotsman, Simpson has however attributed his decision to take McGeouch off once again down to not aggravating anything.
“Dylan McGeouch started to tighten up a bit after he’d made a few recovery runs in the second half, so we took him to avoid making that any worse.”
The Cumbrians did suffer one fresh injury during the match, defender Fin Back having to leave the field just after half time having been elbowed in the eye. Although it is not believed to be serious, the manager has stated that the defender may require stitches.
“Fin Back had a split on his eye after he got elbowed on the far side. He’s possibly going to need stitches in that, we’ll need to see how he is.
“It was one of those decisions again that the referee hasn’t seen properly, so he had to come off. We weren’t prepared to take any risks because the top of his eye was closing over a little bit.”
The injury to Back doesn’t seem too serious and he may play a part in Carlisle’s trip to Stevenage on Saturday. It will once again be a much changed side, with Simpson still trying to find both his favoured starting eleven as well as formation, having already used 22 different players this season in the league.
He will be hoping that his players can find some consistency as well as to make a case for a place in the starting eleven, as the Cumbrian side look to ascend the table following a somewhat expected slow start to the season.
As is always expected with the EFL Trophy, plenty of changes were made to the starting eleven, however there do seem to be plenty of injury concerns and little knocks at Brunton Park currently. Carlisle do face an uphill task in surviving in League One and Simpson will be wanting to have all of his players fit in order to have the best chance of staying up this season. If able to build momentum on from the win against Shrewsbury, then plenty of pressure will be taken off of the side.