Ainsworth tempted to include returning trio

Ainsworth tempted to include returning trio

Dean Morgan

Jon-Paul Pittman

Steven Craig

First published in Sport Bucks Free Press: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

DEAN Morgan and Jon-Paul Pittman both returned to training this week - with manager Gareth Ainsworth admitting the temptation to put them straight back in the team.

The strikers' return to fitness gives Ainsworth a welcome boost ahead of Saturday's must-win game against Accrington, with Blues having fired a blank in front of goal in five of the last seven matches.

And with Steven Craig also back from a three-match ban, the Blues boss has plenty of options in attack to boost his side's flagging fortunes.

Ainsworth said the trio could all make a return to Saturday's squad - and hinted a place in the starting XI isn't out of the question.

He said: "If in the next couple of days they look sharp and start banging the goals in in training then it'll be hard to ignore. We can't just panic and go, 'He's back, get him in', but on the other side if the pyhsios have done their job well they'll be ready to come back in the team as fit forwards.

"They have had a full week's training and the temptation's always there to stick your best players in, but we'll have to do it cautiously. I'm sure a few people will be saying, 'He's got to stick him straight back in', but we'll see.

"If goalscoring is a problem then at least we are boosted by some forwards coming back. The team isn't set and selected. I want to look to see who's firing and who's doing well in training."

Joint top scorer Morgan hasn't played since Boxing Day, when he sustained a hamstring injury during the game with Newport County, while Pittman made his comeback after ten weeks out with a knee injury he picked up during training.

Ainsworth said: "Dean Morgan produces that bit of magic on the pitch that no one else can. Stevie's an absolute warrior when you need somebody up front to hold the ball up.

"JP's been ten weeks away - he'll probably be the one who will be checked out to see there's no reaction to his injury and seeing his sharpness. We'll assess JP, the other two are probably closer to warranting a place in the starting XI.

"If Jon-Paul fires in the next few days, he's going to open my eyes and I'll be thinking [about including him]. I just want people to stick the ball in the net - that's what they are paid to do. It's about time they gave the defenders a bit of a break."

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