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Addicks manager on Stephens, Fuller, Kermo and Wiggins injuries
THERE was no point in risking Dale Stephens at Leeds after the winger pulled out of the game at the last minute, according to manager Chris Powell.
Stephens had been named in the starting XI at Elland Road but a recurring hamstring problem was aggravated in the warm up, prompting a late call up for Bradley Pritchard.
He is unlikely to be available for Saturday’s trip to Wolves and Powell was sure he had made the right decision not to play him at Leeds.
The boss said: “He has had a tight hamstring.
“He got through the game on Saturday, it was a little bit tight but we felt he was going to be OK at Leeds.
“But after the warm up he just felt it wasn’t right and I always say to the players if you are not 100 percent, if you are nowhere near thinking you can get through 90 minutes then you can’t do it.
“If we lost Dale after five minutes then that is one of your subs being used up.
“It is always important for any player to be ready, you never know when your opportunity is going to come and I felt Bradley Pritchard excelled after being told five minutes before he was going to play.
“I thought he grew into the game alongside all the other players and really played his part in a real good performance.”
Stephens is the latest name to be added to a growing injury list, but Powell is refusing to use it as an excuse for being at the wrong end of the table.
He explained: “It is something which didn’t really harm us last year.
“We are suffering a little bit but I won’t bleat on about it, it is there but of course then other players who are in the squad that is why they are here.
“They are going to have to step up and play and do their best for us.
“We’ve lost Ricardo, Yann, Rhoys, Matt Taylor is just coming back, Andy Hughes is on the long road to coming back, Danny Haynes is now outside and on the grass, but not with us, doing fitness work.
“It has been tough for us but we’ve managed to get a couple of loan players in to boost the numbers and a few other players will have to step up now.
“I took three of the U21s up to Leeds and then Callum Harriott had to go on the bench because of the last minute problem with Dale, so it has been real tough but it is the league we are in and I want us to just keep going forward.
“It gives opportunities to players who have been on the fringes and young players and if that is the case then so be it.
“I’m fine with that because I know once those players are fit they will be chomping at the bit to really get in and display their talents in the Championship and will almost be like new signings, Yann and Rhoys especially with the time they’re going to be out.”
Powell added: “There is no date on Yann yet. He is doing a lot of work inside.
“It is the ankle. He is a strong build so there is a lot of impact work which he has to work through.
“I’m thinking it is another three or four weeks towards the end of November before he and Rhoys Wiggins are out on the pitch training.”
But the wait for Fuller will not be so long, as Powell confirmed: “The medical team are looking at sort of two or three weeks.
“It looked really bad at the time but he has improved quite dramatically, which is really good, but hamstrings is always an area which is quite delicate.
“It is quite positive that it may be two or three weeks. I’m really happy with that and hopefully that will be the case and we get back a quality player sooner rather than later.”
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