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Southampton FC face injury crisis ahead of Johnstone's Paint Trophy final
Alan Pardew says Saints are facing something of an “injury crisis” ahead of their trip to Wembley on Sunday.
Morgan Schneiderlin is the latest injury doubt for the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy final after he came off at half time in the 3-2 win over Hartlepool at St Mary’s last night with a tight hamstring.
Michail Antonio, Wayne Thomas and Adam Lallana also have question marks hanging over their fitness while Radhi Jaidi, Lloyd James and David Connolly are also struggling to be fit enough to be considered for a start.
On top of that Jason Puncheon, Dan Seaborne, Jon Otsemobor and Lee Barnard are also unavailable because they are cup tied.
Pardew admitted that someone who has hardly played all season, like Simon Gillett, could yet get a dramatic nod to be in the team.
The likes of midfielder Paul Wotton and defender Chris Perry could also be in contention, and even 16-year-old Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who has made just one sub appearance for the first team, could be challenging for a start.
Pardew said: “I said to Morgan at half time that he and Jose were the only players playing, but he had hurt his hamstring so we’re sweating on him a bit for Sunday.
“We’ve got a little bit of an injury crisis coming up to this final.
“Radhi is still struggling, Lloyd is struggling really, he’s not 100 per cent.
“Michail Antonio looks like he’s a doubt, David Connolly is not quite right, Wayne Thomas is on crutches.
“We’ve hit an injury crisis at a bad time for us if I’m honest because this is the nuts and bolts of the season and we have four or five players not available.
“We now fall back on the sprit of the squad which has been strong.
“I pay tribute to the players I inherited here who haven’t lost their focus – Simon Gillett has probably got a chance of playing on Sunday and he hasn’t really been given a chance by me.
“This is how football works out sometimes.”
Speaking of Adam Lallana, who missed last night’s game with a groin strain, Pardew added: “He was injured.
“I hope he won’t be injured Sunday – I’m expecting we’ll have a few more Saturday morning but we’ll see.”
He added: “We have a few players missing which gives an opportunity to our squad players who have had a terrific attitude.
“It’s funny how it might fall on the plate of somebody who hasn’t really featured much and I have no problem with that.”
Gillett has only made two sub appearances in the league all season.