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Holtby ruled out of Deepdale duel

The German missed out in midweek following a hamstring injury and remains sidelined for the derby

25 October 2019

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Tony Mowbray has confirmed that Lewis Holtby won't play a part in Rovers' weekend clash with Preston North End at Deepdale.

The 29-year-old bagged his first goal for the club in his first start in blue-and-white against Huddersfield Town last weekend, but a slight hamstring injury kept him out of the midweek encounter at Birmingham City.

The journey to Preston comes too soon for the German, but Mowbray admits that the former Tottenham and Hamburg schemer won't be out long-term.

“I don’t think Lewis is going to make it because he slightly twinged his hamstring against Huddersfield a week ago," the boss revealed to iFollow Rovers ahead of the game.

“Whether that’s because of the intensity of the English game, I don’t know, but that’s the reason we opted to drip feed him in.

“It was his first start for us and it’s not easy sometimes to play at the intensity that the Championship asks you to do when you’ve not played at that intensity for years and years.

“Hopefully it won’t be too bad for him, but I’m pretty sure he won’t make this weekend.

“My board is pretty full on the injured column. There are players training with the physics at the moment, but nothing with the team."

But Mowbray adds that there is better news regarding the fitness of a couple of forward players, and confesses that opportunities may arise for a few of the Under-23s starlets who have impressed already under Billy Barr in Premier League 2.

“[Ben] Brereton isn’t far away, [Dominic] Samuel’s not far away, but we’ll give them time in the Under-23s before the first team," he said.

“Players want to play, but it’s not an easy job to pick an XI. I see them train, I see them work, I see combinations, I look at the opposition’s strengths and weaknesses and try and pick a team that will get a result.

“When you win it’s great, but when you don’t get a result there are people who question what you do.

“That’s okay, that’s football management. I’m long enough in the tooth to know that whenever you don’t win games everyone knows the answers and gets the selection right.

“We’ll see what we’ve got available. Maybe it’s close for the Under-23s who have done well this season, the [Joe] Rankin-Costellos and the [John] Buckleys to come into the fray.

“Dan Butterworth’s coming back from injury and Jack Vale looked really good against Southampton in midweek.

“We’ll wait and see what we do on the injury situation, but moving forward we’ll have a team that gives a good account of themselves this weekend.”

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