Saints head coach Russell Martin has said midfielder Will Smallbone’s injury is unlikely to keep him out for an extended period.
The Irishman was left out of the squad for Saturday’s 2-0 win over Cardiff City at St Mary’s but Martin believes he should be “back in the squad” for next week’s trip to Watford.
The 23-year-old started in the 1-1 draw against Huddersfield Town on November 25 before coming on as a substitute in the 1-0 win over Bristol City on Wednesday.
In the post-match press conference, the Saints coach said: “He’s pulled out of the Ireland squad with a minor injury.”
“Then he played the first game in the second leg (against Huddersfield) because he felt he was in good hands. It set him back a little bit.”
“On Wednesday he felt he could sit on the bench and play, but when he came on he felt it affected his performance too much.”
Despite Smallbone’s absence, Saints performed confidently in front of their fans, with Adam Armstrong doubling the difference between the sides in the first half.
Shea Charles was again selected in midfield alongside Flynn Downes and Stuart Armstrong, and Cardiff struggled to cope with the quality of the trio.
Martin insisted that Smallbone be given some time to allow his injury to heal before the busy championship schedule.
He continued: “It would be madness to leave him on the bench or put him in the team.”
“We give him a week to 10 days to get used to it. I think and hope that he will be back in the selection next week.”
Author: Tom Wallace
Source: Daily Echo