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No need to risk defensive duo

Amari'i Bell and Derrick Williams didn't feature in the behind closed doors game against Liverpool at Anfield

12 June 2020

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With the pair carrying slight knocks, Tony Mowbray has revealed that there was no need to risk Amari'i Bell and Derrick Williams in the behind closed doors clash against Liverpool earlier this week.

The defensive pair didn't travel to Anfield to take part in Rovers' first game in almost three months, which allowed young midfielder Joe Rankin-Costello to fill in at left back for the beginning of the game.

Mowbray expects both Bell and Williams to be back in contention to face Bristol City in just over a week's time at Ewood Park, with the precautionary measure taken ahead of what will be a hectic schedule over the next few weeks.

“Rankin-Costello, a right-footed midfielder player, was playing at left back against Liverpool," Mowbray confirmed to iFollow Rovers after the game.

“Derrick’s feeling his calf a little bit, albeit it’s not a major problem.

“Elsewhere, Amari’i took a knock in training and it wasn’t worth taking the risk with him.

“They’re the scenarios at the moment. The difficulty with these things now is that if a physic comes to you and says that a little niggle is going to put a player out for two or three weeks, he’ll actually be missing five games.

“That’s going to be the issue as we move forward."

The battle against Lee Johnson's Robins will be the first of nine games to be played in 32 days.

The boss knows that the run of fixtures will be tough on the legs, but with plenty still to play for, he's hoping for momentum to help his team on the home straight of the season.

“We need to keep the players robust and strong both mentally and physically," he said.

“Hopefully you get to a point where you end up playing through injuries if the team need it, as we try and give it the very best we can in these final nine games.”

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