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Club News


16 February 2023

Club News


16 February 2023

DINO Maamria has suggested that up to four players could return to the first-team squad over the next two fixtures.

The Brewers manager said that Jonny Smith, Mark Helm, Ciaran Gilligan and Bobby Kamwa could all be back in action soon, with at least a couple of them to become available again this weekend or the next.

The Brewers were a little bit short of midfield options against Portsmouth on Tuesday, as Terry Taylor, Ciaran Gilligan, and Mark Helm were all side-lined. Conor Shaughnessy, returning from a long-term injury of his own, put in a solid display in the 85 minutes he played in, but the Brewers had to replace him with winger Mustapha Carayol for the final moments of the game.

“We’ve had less possession the last two games,” stated Maamria. “Arguably our key players are Terry Taylor and Mark Helm and they were huge misses. We realise we lost a little bit of the ball retention in there, but we’re finding different ways of picking up points.

“Terry will remain out for at least two months, which will be at least six if he needs an operation. Mark has got a chance next weekend so that’s not too bad; Jonny Smith, Bobby Kamwa, and Ciaran Gilligan are the same - all on the verge of returning.”

And whilst the Brewers don’t return to The Pirelli Stadium just yet, they face another long away trip to Bristol Rovers on the back of the unfortunate defeat to Portsmouth in midweek.

“We got back at about four o’clock in the morning after Tuesday’s game,” said Maamria. “There’s been a lot of rest and recovery between now and then. It’s always going to be difficult on the road, but we know the way they play and how they’ll set up.

“We’ve got to keep showing that fighting spirit, that togetherness, that resilience, and that will-to-win. When we get the chances, we need to capitalise on them, but we have to be resilient as well.”

And perhaps the most resilient of all in recent fixtures has been goalkeeper Craig MacGillivray, who has already become a strong fan favourite amongst the Brewers faithful, after some heroic saves in recent weeks.

“For 90 minutes, he was invincible,” claimed Maamria. “I never felt like Portsmouth would score on Tuesday night, because he is a top keeper. It’s not just his performance either, his attitude every day is top drawer.

“I should give credit to Jordi (Amissah) as well. Since he’s been here, his attitude has been great, and he’s developed so much. The goalkeeping department has improved so much. He’s unlucky not to be starting games because he’s been superb in training, but Craig’s experience has been vital. It’s an area of the pitch that I’m very comfortable with.”

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