News on Chris Maxwell, Richard Keogh, CJ Hamilton and others ahead of Blackpool's clash against West Brom

Richard Keogh is unlikely to be fit for Blackpool’s clash against West Brom tomorrow night.

Monday, 22nd November 2021, 1:03 pm
Updated Monday, 22nd November 2021, 1:04 pm

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It was hoped the defender would return to training this week and possibly feature against the Baggies, despite missing the weekend draw against Swansea City.

But head coach Neil Critchley has revealed the 35-year-old, who is nursing a calf strain, still has some work to do.

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“Keyesy has been back out on the grass running and we’re hopeful he’ll be able to train sometime this week,” Pool’s head coach said, speaking this morning to preview Blackpool's midweek game.

“Tuesday night will come too soon for him though I think.”

Elsewhere, the Seasiders are likely to have a similar pool of players to choose from as they did for Saturday’s 1-1 draw in South Wales.

Chris Maxwell (torn quad) and CJ Hamilton (foot) are both close to making a return, but the likes of Luke Garbutt (knee), Kevin Stewart (ankle), Matty Virtue (ACL) and Grant Ward (achilles) all remain sidelined.

Keogh strained his calf during the recent defeat to Stoke City

“There’s no one to add, so it will be a very similar squad to what it was on the weekend,” Critchley said.

“It’s similar news to last week as well really.

“I repeat what I said last week as well, it’s about finding the right time and the right moment to bring CJ Hamilton back into the squad.

“Luke Garbutt won’t be around for a little bit, Kev Stewart had an injection last week and that will need to settle down for a few days and then we’ll start to get him back on the grass running. He won’t be involved yet.

“Maxi trained on Sunday with the group and he’s starting to progress his team training and his game scenarios. He’s kicking as well.

“He obviously had a quad muscle injury, so you have to be careful of doing too many repetitive actions and kicking, as goalkeepers do, it takes a certain amount of exertion to do that.

“But he’s starting to step that up and kick further and kick more footballs. If he comes through that fine then at some point we can look to include him back in the squad.”

Once Maxwell is available for selection, Critchley will have a decision on his hands whether to drop Dan Grimshaw, who has been in superb form since deputising for Blackpool's number one.

“Grimmy has been fantastic," Critchley added.

“Coming into some really tough games in this league, some big games, he’s performed very well.

“But that’s not forgetting Maxi has been outstanding for me and outstanding for Blackpool over the last 18 months to two years.

“He’s the captain of the team, his performances last season and this season were incredible and his experience is massive for us.

“It will be a tough decision, but again that’s no different to the decisions I have to make with the outfield players.

“At some point I’ll have to sit down with both of them and discuss my reasoning for picking somebody and not picking somebody.”

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