A DECISION will be made on Massimo Luongo after today’s training session on whether he will be fit enough to play against Crewe on Saturday.
The Aussie midfielder was withdrawn as a precaution in Tuesday’s draw with Gillingham and sat out training yesterday in order to rest a tight hamstring.
With Louis Thompson returning from suspension, should Luongo not be deemed fit enough, the Town academy product could slot straight back into midfield alongside Ben Gladwin and Yaser Kasim. Andy Williams would presumably also retain his place, alongside Michael Smith, having scored his first goal for the club in a year on Tuesday night.
Being careful not give away too much Mark Cooper knows he will have some decisions to make ahead of Saturday but said of Luongo: “We don’t know yet (whether he will be fit). He had a tight hamstring, so he had a rest today and then hopefully we’ll involve him tomorrow, with a view of playing Saturday.
“Andy (Wiliams) has made an impact in the games when he’s come off the bench. He’s made an impact in both of those games and he made an impact he started the other night. So we have a decision to make don’t we? We’ll give that a lot of thought over the next couple of days.
“I think they (Williams and Smith) can (form a partnership). We’ve raised concerns that maybe we think they’re a little bit similar in the way they play, their size, their pace. In different games we’ll need different tactics, so no there’s definitely a partnership there.
“They both played the other night with two upfront the other night. It’s not a problem for us whether we play one up front, or two up front. Andy, like I’ve mentioned has given me something to think about.”
One player whose fitness Cooper is not worried about is Brad Smith. On his return from medial ligament injury the Liverpool youngster came through 90 minutes on Tuesday and his temporary boss is now hoping to see the best of him.
“Coming from a club like Liverpool there would have been no risk taken by them. If there was any risk he (Brad Smith) would sustain any more damage then they wouldn’t have sent him back to us. They’re perfectly happy with him being back and playing and so are we.
“He gives you a bit of width with his left and he’s quick isn’t he. He can occupy people because they’re scared of leaving him because of his pace and his quality with his left foot.
“It takes time when new players come in. The more that the players gets accustomed to how he plays I’m sure they’ll keep ramming the ball down his throat, which is what we want.”