Date: 22nd August 2006 at 11:39am
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After only one game Mark Hughes is already facing a defensive crisis. Although maybe one or two additions in this department would have ideally, only a few weeks back Rovers seemed well stocked in this department.

Ryan Nelsen will be out for at least the next two games with Zurab Khizanishvili and Dominic Matteo are struggling to shake off groin injuries. Add the definite suspension of Lucas Neill and the possible one of Andy Todd and Hughes is left with only Jay McEveley and the talented, but very young duo of Andy Taylor and Eddie Nolan other than Aaron Mokoena and Michael Gray for Everton`s visit tomorrow night.

Alan Wiley has reviewed the incident that saw Todd dismissed at Portsmouth on Saturday, so Hughes will be hopefully of at least having him available for Everton should Wiley recommend the FA overturn the ban. An announcement on this will be made sometime today.

When speaking to the Lancashire Telegraph about one injury doubt Khizanishvili Hughes would say:

Zurab hasn’t trained for a number of days and I’d be very surprised if he was available on Wednesday.”

Hughes will now be hoping that the proposed move to Ewood Park of Dutch International Andre Ooijer, for whom Hughes confirmed “there’s a bid on the table” can be sorted sooner rather than later as you would think Rovers will need players of his quality and experience against Chelsea on Sunday.

 

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