Andy Thorn has sent two of his players to the National Sports Centre at Lilleshall in an attempt to get them up to the required level of fitness after they recovered from long term injuries.
Freddy Eastwood and Gary Deegan are not fit enough to take part in competitive football at the moment. So Thorn took the decision to send the pair to Lilleshall, which specialises in sports fitness and rehabilitation in an attempt to get the two players fit enough to play again.
Eastwood is not fit enough to play and has missed the start of the season after suffering a hamstring strain in the last pre-season friendly against Norwich at The Ricoh. The 27 year old was a substitute at Watford last month, but was overlooked for the trip to Middlesbrough.
Eastwood is giving Thorn concern as in his three seasons as a striker at Coventry City he has only managed to score four goals in his first season, eight in the second and six goals in his third which clearly is not enough.
Deegan has spent over a year out with an ankle injury and a later thigh strain. He is clearly nowhere near match fit, but in order to get games he has to achieve a much higher level of fitness first if he is to be able to play without risking further injury because his body is not yet ready for the stresses and strains of competitive football.
Thorn said to the CT: “Freddy’s a great kid and a good lad but his level of fitness isn’t good enough. He’s gone there because I need him to be available for selection and at the moment he needs to be in better condition than what he is."
"We know what he can do and we need all hands on deck. It is important because there is only so long that people will say, ‘he’s a good player, he’s got potential that’s just waiting to come through’."
“He’s in the last year of his contract and I have seen people drift out of the game, but he’s too good a talent to let that happen so I have sent him there to get his fitness up to scratch because we need him about the place and he has to come back raring and ready to go."
“I’ve had a chat with him, Steve Harrison has spoken to him but only Freddy can help himself now. We know what he can do, he’s a great lad around the place and we need to get him involved more, but he needs to get his fitness up to scratch. He’s a professional footballer and he needs to be fit to play but, at the moment, I don’t think he is.”
“With the numbers we have got it is disappointing that we’ve had to go down this route but no-one can help him apart from himself,” said Thorn, who is determined to get the best out of the player who has struggled to recapture the prolific form he enjoyed at Southend that got him big money moves to Wolves and then City over the last four years.
“I have got Lukas Jutkiewicz, Cody McDonald, Roy O’Donovan, Clive Platt and Gary McSheffrey to play up front if I want as well as Freddy, so there’s good competition now. No-one has a God given right to be in the team. I want to involve him but at the moment I can’t."
“Everyone is busting a gut to get in the team and he needs to get himself in among them.”
Deegan, having recovered from his nightmare ankle injury, damaged hi thigh in a pre-season game at Leamington, probably because he was not fit enough to play, but in a catch 22 situation, he needs games to recover match fitness, but can't play until he is fit enough.
Thorn said of Deegan: “Hopefully Gary will come to training next week but we’ll see how he comes out of it because it is a tough three or four days. It is like a fast track fitness programme to get them right up to speed."
"Deegs is coming back now and we have to make sure he’s over his injury and not going to get any more secondaries.”
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