Blackpool boss Neil Critchley spells out frustration of Kevin Stewart over latest injury

Kevin Stewart is suffering with a foot injury to prolong a nightmare few months for the Blackpool midfielder.

Monday, 20th September 2021, 8:00 am

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The 28-year-old was a surprise absentee from the squad for Saturday’s 2-1 win at Middlesbrough.

The former Liverpool man starred in the win over Fulham a week earlier, which was his first start of the season.

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Kevin Stewart on the ball against Fulham, the only game the Blackpool midfielder has started this season

Stewart was an unused substitute in the midweek defeat to Huddersfield Town, then suffered a knock in training before the trip to the Riverside.

Head coach Neil Critchley told The Gazette: “He’s got a problem with his foot, which he felt in training this week. We’re just trying to settle that down.

“He’s taken a kick to it, so we don’t think it’s serious but he wasn’t quite ready for this game.

“It’s a similar story for Demi Mitchell because he trained all week.

“We were hopeful he was going to be ready and he did make the trip with us, so we’re hopeful both players will be ready for next week.”

Stewart’s pre-season was disrupted by an ankle injury suffered in the friendly against Manchester City.

Critchley added: “Kev is absolutely frustrated with a capital F because he can’t quite get his season going. He was fantastic against Fulham.

“We decided to rest him in midweek because Saturday was his first 90 minutes. We just wanted to look after him.

“He just had a complaint with his foot on Thursday and Friday, so we don’t want to irritate that because he’s a big player for us.

“If we have to miss him for one game, I’d rather do that than miss him for months on end.”

Daniel Gretarsson is fit despite being left out in recent games, Critchley revealed.

Reece James, however, is another player to have suffered a knock.

Critchley said: “Reece we’re hoping will have a scan on Monday to give him the all-clear to step-up his rehab. He’s had a problem with his foot.

“We’re hopeful on similar news with Owen Dale, so fingers crossed.

“Unfortunately some players have to miss out. Daniel has been brilliant in training and played well against Sunderland in the cup but I can’t bring everyone.

“The players understand that as long as you’re open and honest with them and there’s respect.

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