Ian Evatt is looking forward to the prospect of being able to call on Xavier Amaechi for the first time as the summer signing heads towards a return to action.
Amaechi – recruited on loan from German outfit Hamburg – is yet to make a competitive appearance for Wanderers after breaking a bone in his foot in pre-season.
But the 20-year-old wideman resumed training with the first-team squad on Monday.
And although the former Arsenal and England youngster won’t be rushed back into contention, his return will provide Evatt with a welcome extra attacking option when he is back fully fit and firing.
“Xav has joined in training and came through fine, which is good news,” said the Wanderers’ boss.
“Hopefully we’ll build him up now and get him some game time in the coming few weeks and get him ready to play in the first team.
“He was one of our key signings in the summer and we’ve not had him yet.
“We’ve suffered with injuries. We don’t like to make excuses.
“We haven’t been good enough this last month but it will be great to have him back because I think he’s a very good player and will add a lot to us.”
Wanderers have been short of goals in recent weeks during a testing run in League One with frontman Amadou Bakayoko being eased back from his own injury absence.
Bakayoko’s comeback was curtailed by an ankle injury which kept him out of last Saturday’s loss at Portsmouth and he is not yet ready to return in the Papa John’s Trophy at Rochdale tonight (Tuesday).
Evatt has utilised his squad during the Whites’ opening two group wins and may again make changes as his side aims to secure their qualification for the knock-out stages of the tournament.
“It’s a competition we’ve used to rotate a little bit and give people opportunities and no matter what team I put out I expect us to win the game if we perform to our levels and standards,” added Evatt, whose side needs a point at League Two Dale to guarantee their progress.
“I must say Rochdale are a good team, though.
“They play the right way, they play an attractive brand of football and their manager has got them going really well.
“It’s all about us. We need to get back to doing what we do well, playing at high intensity, playing with quality and making sure we take our chances when we create them.
“And if we can do that we give ourselves a good chance of winning the game and being in the next round.”