'It's been frustrating for him and frustrating for us': Blackpool boss on Kevin Stewart's latest injury setback

No-one is more frustrated than Kevin Stewart at the midfielder’s recent injury woes.

Tuesday, 19th October 2021, 12:00 pm

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The Blackpool man has only completed 90 minutes on one occasion this season, the 1-0 win against Fulham in September.

The 28-year-old’s problems first began in pre-season when he injured his ankle in the friendly encounter against Manchester City.

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The former Liverpool midfielder then suffered a knock to his foot after returning against the Cottagers last month.

Stewart started Saturday’s game against Nottingham Forest at the City Ground, only to be withdrawn in the second half with a fresh ankle problem, a separate issue to the one he suffered earlier this year.

Addressing Stewart’s availability ahead of Wednesday night’s game against Reading, head coach Neil Critchley said: “We’ll have to assess Kevin.

“It’s been so stop-start for Kev all this season. He couldn’t get going in pre-season either.

Kevin Stewart sustained another injury setback at the City Ground on Saturday

“We managed to get him 90 minutes in a behind-closed-doors game against Burnley during the international break. He was ready to go against Forest, but he felt his ankle during the second half.

“It’s been really frustrating. He’s frustrated too. He’s the consummate professional and he wants to be out training and playing all the time.

“He doesn’t handle being injured very easily, so it’s been frustrating for him and frustrating for us because he’s a top player and he’s played at this level before, so he brings a lot to the team.

“It’s a new injury though, not an old one.”

Dujon Sterling was due to return to training yesterday after missing Saturday’s trip to the City Ground through illness.

Keshi Anderson, meanwhile, could also return having been absent at the weekend with a family matter.

The Seasiders will be looking to get back to winning ways against an in-form Reading side which has won five of its last six games.

Critchley said: “Reading play really good football and have a lot of players in the team that can handle the ball. Technically, they’re very good.

“They’re very patient in possession and they’ve got good players over the pitch.

“They’re in good form and they’re at home, so it’s a really tough proposition for us, just as it was on Saturday.

“As always, if we can do what we’re good at, then we know we’ll cause them problems as well.”

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