Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Rearing Riordan

Manager Mark McGhee has been quick to stress that striker Derek Riordan will not be rushed back in to action following a hamstring injury. The Scottish player was substituted in the 3-1 win over Northampton 10 days ago after aggravating his hamstring but it was believed at the time that he'd be fit to face Burton last Saturday. This did not turn out to be the case and it appears he is only 50/50 to feature against Torquay this weekend.

Riordan in action on his debut against Exeter
McGhee explained just how important Riordan is to the way he wants his Rovers team to play but doesn't want to risk losing him for a sustained period of time by playing him too soon. He likened the situation to that of Garry Kenneth's earlier this campaign. Kenneth was not fully fit when the season began and sustained a few niggling injuries as a result of forcing himself back too early - lessons have been learned this time and Riordan won't fall foul of the same problem (pardon the pun).

If he is able to play an active part in training on Thursday and Friday then it does seem likely he'll be fit enough to start against the Gulls, but if he doesn't he will be saved for the midweek match against AFC Wimbledon next Tuesday.

It would be mightily disappointing to not have Derek available this week as everybody is eager to see him score his first Gas goal as soon as possible. The general belief among all connected with the club is that once he nets his first he'll begin to fire on all cylinders, which is precisely what we need to happen to help propel us up the league. He came mightily close to scoring against Northampton when his free-kick hit the crossbar but it wasn't to be on that occasion. He'll be as desperate as anyone to put that right before too long.

It's still unbelievable that Rovers were able to attract a player of Derek's quality and pedigree to the club, so it's vital we don't gamble his fitness this weekend and end up losing him for a longer period of time.

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