Blackburn Rovers candidates to replace in Ryan Nyambe’s absence as Tony Mowbray explains dilemma

Blackburn Rovers may have survived without Ryan Nyambe’s presence in the win over Cardiff City, but his red card dismissal presents an intriguing dilemma for Tony Mowbray and his coaching staff.

Rovers are in action again on Wednesday night as they travel to MKM Stadium to complete their rescheduled game against Hull City.

With no further injury concerns elsewhere, Mowbray has a decision to make on who will replace in Nyambe’s absence as the Namibian serves a one-game suspension.

On paper, new signing Deyovaisio Zeefuik would make a similar change to the position, but as the defender took part in his first Rovers training session this morning, there’s reason to err on the side of caution given that he has not played a competitive match since 18 December.

Joe Rankin-Costello, making back-to-back matchday squad appearances for the first time since April on Saturday, is back in the first-team picture as he builds up his fitness and durability with the lesser 23, but Rovers remain aware of the demands imposed. the 22-year-old.

Zeefuik or Rankin-Costello? It’s not a terrible situation, but one that Mowbray will think a lot about in the days to come.

“I think that’s a bet that we’re going to have to assess over the next few days,” Mowbray said.

“I think for Deyo it’s going to come too soon. He hasn’t kicked a ball since December 18, so it’s a whole month.

“We can’t stress him out thinking he might get hurt.

“But I think Joe Rankin-Costello could do it, he played 75 minutes for the Under-23s and 45 minutes, he trains every day. I don’t see why in my mind we can’t look to throw Joe in the next game and see how the game goes, see how it goes.

“As we did today, we have to adapt to the way the game is going, whether we put an attacking player or a defensive player, depending on whether we have to protect him because he’s been through a very difficult period these days. last few years with his hamstring.

“I’m not sure I want to think Joe can play 90 minutes at the intensity I demand. But those are the calls, I’m going to sit down with other staff this week and we’ll have a conversation to decide what we’re going to do on Wednesday.”

That said, we take a look at the script of every winger candidate who will be considered to fill the Nyambe void.

Joe Rankin Costello

Mowbray and his coaching staff have identified January as an important time for Rankin-Costello to build confidence in his own body and prove that he can be trusted to handle the workload required without collapsing again.

The Academy graduate has been blighted by lingering hamstring issues that have delayed his return from a broken metatarsal, but Rankin-Costello has made some very promising progress in recent weeks, playing 75 minutes in the Champions League game. U23 against Manchester City last Sunday.

Although he has yet to see him operate in a full-back role for the first team, Rankin-Costello has all the attributes to succeed in that position and help increase the attacking power of the right flank.

There is the possibility that Rovers give Rankin-Costello between 60 and 75 minutes and call Zeefuik out for the rest of the contest, either that or reshuffle their pack like against Cardiff on Saturday with Darragh Lenihan back-up and Daniel Ayala coming into the center defensive three.

Right now it looks like Rankin-Costello is set to make his first start since losing to Wycombe Wanderers last April.

Deyovaisio Zeefuik

The new signing will push for a regular starting role in the coming weeks but a cautious approach to his transition to the Rovers squad is warranted.

His last outing came in the home win over Borussia Dortmund on December 18 – of which he played 35 minutes – before the start of the Bundesliga’s winter break.

Having kept himself in shape over the festive period, Zeefuik will need time to acclimate to the intensity Rovers have instilled and therefore expect him to be gradually introduced.

John Buckley

A final option who has experience as a wing-back, but Mowbray’s thought in the FA Cup draw against Wigan explains how much he appreciates John Buckley in his natural midfield role.

The 22-year-old is far too influential to move on and Rovers are determined to maintain the dynamic midfield combination of Buckley, Joe Rothwell and Lewis Travis in as many encounters as possible.

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About Jerry Richter

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