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Doubts and Possibilities

Injury Update Ahead of Oxford

31 December 2018

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ARGYLE are nursing a few knocks as we head into the New Year’s Day meeting with Oxford United in Sky Bet League One at Home Park.

Joe Riley is a major doubt after suffering a bang to his knee in the draw at Burton Albion on Saturday. Ash Smith-Brown was given the nod over Tafari Moore to replace Riley, mainly because of his recent match fitness and ability to play on either flank of the full-back positions.

Niall Canavan, on the other hand, came through the Burton game unscathed after returning from a recent ankle problem.

“He [Riley] took a knock to his knee, the other knee from what he had a problem,” said Argyle manager Derek Adams. “He is a doubt for the Oxford game, still a possibility, but a doubt.

“Ash Smith-Brown has played in recent weeks and was up to game-time. You can’t tell if he’s left-footed or right-footed, very capable with both and up with game-time.

“It was a game being played in a quick manner and wasn’t going to allow someone to come in and feel their way into it. Ash has been a regular up until Saturday.

“He [Canavan] trained on Thursday and Friday, and he gave us a bit of balance as a left-sided centre-half. Niall has only missed ten days training with a rolled ankle.”

Graham Carey was another taken off at Burton but this was purely a tactical switch to combat the forward raids of home full-back Ben Fox.

Those definitely out of the Oxford clash include Conor Grant and Jamie Ness, with Joel Grant also struggling to regain full fitness in time.

“We took him [Carey] off because we were concerned about the Burton full-back getting forward and putting crosses in,” said Derek. “We put Luke Jephcott on, who can do that job going backwards and could also maybe run-off the right-back.

“Joel is a doubt as well. He came off against Wimbledon; he kicked the ball up the line and felt a pulled muscle. Conor [Grant] will start training next week and Jamie Ness the following week.”  

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