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Team news: Preston North End v Rovers

Joe Rankin-Costello and Bradley Johnson miss trip to Deepdale, but Lewis Holtby returns

23 November 2020

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Rovers will be without two players who started Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Luton Town for tomorrow’s trip to Preston North End.

Bradley Johnson will sit out the game through suspension after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season at Kenilworth Road, whilst Joe Rankin-Costello is set for a spell on the sidelines with a persistent hamstring problem, which manager Tony Mowbray is keen to get to the bottom of.

“Bradley is suspended and we’re still waiting on the scan results to come back for Joe, but he’s obviously not fit and available,” said the Rovers boss.

“We’ll wait and see how severe it is and long that’s going to be.

“We’re going to try and get to the bottom of it, as a football club. The medical department, the sports science department, the doctor, the coaching staff, we’re having conversations because we need to make sure that we’re doing the right things for our players, especially given the intensity and the number of games. We need robust footballers, as well as good technical footballers and it is a concern with Joe, because it’s not the first hamstring injury he’s had and we need to try and resolve that between us.

“Apart from that, we’re still without a number of senior players – Bradley Dack, Derrick Williams, Corry Evans, Daniel Ayala, Lewis Travis.

“Daniel and Derrick aren’t far away. They’ve both been on the grass today with the physio department and I’m pretty sure Thursday is their first day back training.

“Everyone has got injuries because of the season we’re having, we just have to push on and be ready and we’re looking forward to this next challenge.”

Mowbray is able to welcome back midfielder Lewis Holtby, who is now back to full health, having missed the trip to Luton through illness.

“He trained today and he looked alright,” added the manager. “He was buzzing around again, so Lewis will be a welcome addition back to the group.

“I think Lewis has had a really, really good season. His voice, his enthusiasm, he takes the message onto the pitch and tries to drive the team for us.

“He’s an important player and I’m delighted that he was back on the grass today.”

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