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Opportunity knocking for Whites players

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1 Opportunity knocking for Whites players on Sat Jan 06 2018, 11:54


Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
A raft of absences means Wanderers are not in rude health as they prepare to take on Huddersfield today.

Adam Armstrong has returned to Newcastle after his loan spell ended, and West Ham duo Reece Burke and Josh Cullen are unavailable while David Moyes casts an eye over them this weekend.

Josh Vela has been battling a virus and Andy Taylor has been absent through injury. Though both returned to training yesterday, neither is likely to be at 100 per cent when Phil Parkinson names his team to take on the Terriers. The prime problem comes in midfield, though. Karl Henry will be sidelined for a few weeks but captain Darren Pratley has suffered an ankle fracture, meaning a matter of months out of action. But Parkinson is keen for those deputising to prove they are worth more game-time over the second half of the season.

"The team is going to have a vastly different look to it at the weekend," he said. "We’re looking at our options and we’re going to sleep on our selection because we want to put a team out that will give a good account of itself but it’s a game we’re looking forward to. There are players in and around the squad who’ve been waiting for a chance and may have not made a significant contribution up to this point but who are more than capable of playing a part from now to the end of the season.

"We know what those players can do, so what’s important when they’re staking a claim is giving them some minutes in terms of first-team football and seeing who’ll benefit and will be able to take us forward into the last 20 games of the season."

While Taylor has been absent, Everton starlet Antonee Robinson has filled in amicably, and after confirming he has extended his loan stay until the summer, Parkinson added: "He’s made an excellent contribution in his time here. He’s a terrific character and our supporters have really warmed to him for his whole-hearted displays.

"He’s learning his trade in a very difficult division but he’ll only get better from here on in.

"One thing about Antonee as much as his ability is his character. He never gives in and never lets things affect him in games of football.

"He wears people down with his athletic ability so where he can go to in the game I don’t know but we’re enjoying working with him. Not only that, he’s a great lad."


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