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Michael Duff Urges Swansea City To Step Up After Key Trio Wiped Out Of 2023


By David Williams

Michael Duff has urged his Swansea City players to seize opportunity as the only way to respond to a devastating triple injury blow.

The Swans head coach has thrown down the gauntlet to his whole squad after the loss of Josh Ginnelly, Joe Allen, and Nathan Wood.

All three are set for lengthy spells on the sidelines after picking up long-term injuries in recent weeks.

The trio won’t figure again in 2023.

Ginnelly is unlikely to feature again this season after he ruptured his Achilles in Saturday’s victory over Sheffield Wednesday.

Allen – who was withdrawn in the warm-up ahead of the south Wales derby – and Wood – who picked up an injury in the first half against Sheffield Wednesday – are also ruled out until January as they require operations on groin and ankle injuries respectively.

“It’s been bad news for injuries,” Duff admitted.

“But football being football it’s an opportunity for someone to come in and grab the opportunity.

“It’s not great in that it’s three big players and three long-term injuries. That’s why you have a squad. That’s why we brought so many in during the summer.

“Woody will need surgery, so he’s out until January. Allen has had surgery on his groin, so he will be a similar time frame.

“Ginnelly will be out for the season. He has ruptured his Achilles. We didn’t think it was good at the time, because of how it happened.

“They’re three big players for us and it’s three long-term injuries. We’ll support them as we will support all of the players.

“It’s disappointing, but there’s an opportunity for other players now.”

The loss of the three players – and particularly the experience of former Wales midfielder Allen – is a significant blow to Duff, who only has one Championship win under his belt so far this season.

A year and three months after returning to the club, Allen’s influence has been undermined by a succession of injuries.

So far, he has managed just 17 league starts for the club out of the 52 that have been played.

The 33-year-old would have been a key player in trying to restore some know-how after such a poor start to the campaign, while Wood’s absence is also a major setback.

The centre-back’s form last season made him a target for a number of clubs, including Southampton, now managed by former Swans head coach Russell Martin.

“We believe in all the players,” added Duff.

“Joe will still have a role to play now anyway. Woody’s a young player so we’ll be doing a lot of individual work with him. You can still work with him and coach him and do individual sessions.

Duff added of Allen, “We think he’s a big player.

“He had a decision to make. He could have conservatively treated it but it could have been four or five weeks and then it goes again and he would need surgery.

“He knows he’s not been at the levels he knows he can hit. Hopefully this will put a full stop to that frustrating 18 months, get him back 100% fit and then crack on from there.”

Swansea travel to Millwall on Saturday and then have a tough-looking sequence of games against Norwich City, Plymouth, Leicester City and Watford.


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