SAINTS midfielder Flynn Downes is expected to return to the squad for the trip to Coventry City, manager Russell Martin has confirmed.

The 24 year old missed Saturday's 1-1 draw with Watford after a bout of illness towards the end of the week.

Downes was sent home from training on Friday due to feeling unwell but still travelled separately to Hertfordshire to make himself available for the game. 

However, it emerged he was still not fit to play on Saturday morning and Downes missed a Championship fixture for the first time since September.

Shea Charles and Joe Aribo stepped up in place of the West Ham loanee but Martin hopes to have his former Swansea City star back at Coventry on Wednesday. 

He said: "We’re the same squad plus Flynn. He trained today, felt good, felt relaxed, fingers crossed that’s the case for tomorrow.

"The team (on Saturday) was very similar to the one I had in my mind, maybe one or two changes. Joe (Aribo) came in and did brilliantly, he was ready for it.

"When you have an opportunity you have to be ready for it, and Joe was. We’re in a positive place, we can only focus on ourselves."

Martin continued: "Flynn is a leader, him missing is going to impact the team somehow but I thought Shea (Charles) was brilliant.

"He's an outstanding young talent. I think he’s getting better and better, but of course, we’ll miss someone like Flynn.

"He’s been so influential and important, the team has been so settled. Gavin, the two centre backs and Flynn, is so important. We've learnt as much as we can from Saturday. It’s a big week."

After the midweek visit to the Midlands, Saints then host Blackburn Rovers and Championship top scorer Sammie Szmodics on Saturday, December 16.