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Del back in contention

The defender could be part of the squads over the festive period after recovering from injury.

21 December 2019

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Tony Mowbray has revealed that Derrick Williams is back available for selection after returning to training this week.

The Republic of Ireland international defender hasn't featured since limping out of his country's friendly encounter with New Zealand in Dublin just over a month ago.

The return of the 26-year-old will provide a timely boost for Mowbray, with the games arriving thick and fast over the festive period, starting with Monday night's encounter with Wigan Athletic at Ewood Park.

Williams has been in fine form for his club this term, with solid defensive displays combined with being a danger in the opposition box, as displayed thanks to goals against Millwall, Hull City and Leeds United already this season.

And the boss is pleased to have almost a clean bill of health heading into the busy Christmas schedule.

“Things are good at this moment," Mowbray announced to iFollow Rovers when asked for an injury update.

“Derrick Williams is back on the training pitch and had his first day back with the group on Wednesday.

“There’s only Greg Cunningham that you might call a senior player being out of action.

“Young Joe Grayson is still out, but generally there is a lot of players out there on the grass. That’s a good thing for us as it gives us options.

“The difficulty comes with the Under-23s because there are some squad players in the first team who need games, but does that then hold back the 17-year-olds and the 18-year-olds that you might want to give game time to?

“At times it does, but there are players who are returning from injury and need games," Mowbray added.

“I’m asking Billy Barr to play three of our first team players on a Friday night and then he has to move a few of the young kids out of the way.

“That’s the conundrum really. How much game time they get and how often they sit on the bench and miss out on an opportunity to play 90 minutes.

“They might only get five minutes off the bench in a first team game and as the weeks roll by they’ve not had much football.

“Decisions have to be made. John Buckley’s sat on the bench lots but hasn’t had much football in recent weeks, and that’s why he played at Newcastle on Friday night.”

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