Team News: Duo Close In On Return

George Johnston and MJ Williams are closing in on a return to action to help Wanderers pursue a big finish to the season.

The pair have both been out of action since the last week of January with midfield man Williams undergoing a bout of knee surgery and defender Johnston recovering for the ankle injury he picked up in the Whites’ win at Charlton.

It remains to be seen whether they will feature at League One leaders Sheffield Wednesday on Friday night.

But their return to training this week has been a tonic for a Wanderers’ squad aiming to sustain their play-off challenge in tandem with their appearance in the Papa Johns Trophy final at Wembley.

Image removed.

“George Johnston and MJ Williams have trained really well this week,” confirmed Whites’ boss Ian Evatt.

“Whether it’s too early for them we’ll wait and see but they have both looked in pretty good shape this week.

“It’s been huge (having them back). Just the influence on the training pitch, around the facility and how positive they are.

“Both are leaders in their own right, both understand what good likes look and understand what’s required and what’s needed to perform well at this football club.

“They have really helped increase the morale around the training ground, which is fantastic.”

Midfield man George Thomason is also in the frame for a first taste of action since early December as Wanderers look to sign off before Wembley on a high.

The trip to Hillsborough – where the Whites will be bidding to become just the second side to win in the league this season – will be Wanderers’ last league game until a Good Friday trip to Exeter City.

Other sides may capitalise in the meantime to usurp Evatt’s men from a top-six spot.

Image removed.

But the Wanderers’ boss isn’t distracted by events elsewhere as he remains determined to maintain the Whites’ progress during his tenure.

“The league might look different when we go back into league action post the cup final,” added Evatt, whose side meets Plymouth Argyle in the Papa Johns Trophy final on 2 April.

“But we’ve got players coming back from injury and then we’ve got a good run of fixtures to finish the season. The cup final at Wembley is not a distraction. It’s a pleasure to be involved in.

“Just stay calm, stay relaxed, stay focused. Regardless of what happens elsewhere, we just need to take care of our own business and finish strong.

“But for now our focus is on Sheffield Wednesday. It can’t be anything else because they’re such a good team.

“I understand there will be criticism at the moment because we’ve under-performed the last few weeks. But it’s about getting back on the horse and getting back to the levels I know we can get to.

“It’s a process for us. It’s about progression and just getting better and improving with every season and I think we’re doing that.”

Read Time: 3 mins