Jamal Blackman or Viktor Johansson? Paul Warne's decision as Chelsea say loanee goalkeeper could be fit by end of international break

Jamal Blackman or Viktor Johansson? Paul Warne's decision as Chelsea say loanee goalkeeper could be fit by end of international break

By Paul Davis | 12/11/2020

Jamal Blackman or Viktor Johansson? Paul Warne's decision as Chelsea say loanee goalkeeper could be fit by end of international break
Viktor Johansson

 

ROTHERHAM United boss Paul Warne admits he is facing a selection dilemma after goalkeeper Viktor Johansson’s impressive debut.

The young Swede deputised for injured Jamal Blackman last Saturday and played a full part in the Millers’ 2-1 Championship win over Preston North End, including making a crucial, brave save from Tom Barkhuizen.

Loanee Blackman, who had been an ever-present until the Lilywhites clash, has returned to parent club Chelsea for treatment on an ankle issue but could be available for Rotherham’s next match, at Swansea City on November 21.

“Viktor came in and did really well,” says Warne who freshened up his side with six changes to last weekend and now has to decide who to play in goal.

“Whenever you change the team, you give people opportunities and sometimes they take them. It’s something we’re going to have to look at.”

Jamal Blackman

Warne also praised the contributions of recalled right-back Matt Olosunde and forward Kyle Vassell and said: “There are a few decisions to be made come Saturday week.”

Blackman has been troubled for several games by an ankle complaint that makes kicking painful and headed back to West London before the Preston triumph that left the Millers in 19th spot going into the international break.

“Chelsea have a whole loan set-up — doctor, physio, fitness coach, everything,” Warne said. “Their protocol is that when one of the players they have loaned out is injured he goes back there.

“We thought Jamal would need an injection but Chelsea have decided it doesn’t need an intervention. They’re going to train him and monitor him. It’s just when he does his kicking that he gets severe pain.

“They have led us to believe that he has a really good chance to be in contention for the Swansea game. They can keep on top of his goalkeeping training and then slowly integrate kicking back in. At the moment, it is looking positive.”




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