Blackburn Rovers manager Tony Mowbray has insisted that forward Adam Armstrong has not suffered a recurrence of the hamstring issue that has been affecting him of late after he missed the trip to Norwich City on Saturday.
Armstrong has been Rovers’ most important player throughout the campaign so far, with the forward managing to register an impressive tally of 19 goals and three assists in his 33 Championship appearances (Sofascore). That has seen him unsurprisingly be linked with moves away from Ewood Park this summer, with Newcastle United now thought to be interested in re-signing the forward.
The 24-year-old has been out of form of late and has been suffering with a hamstring problem this month which has kept him out of four of Rovers’ last five matches. Armstrong returned to action during the goalless draw against Bristol City playing 69 minutes of the game before being withdrawn and then was not included in the side for the 1-1 draw at Norwich.
Speaking to the Lancashire Telegraph, Mowbray outlined that the forward is fit and has not suffered another issue, with him being kept out of the game against Norwich as a precaution as Rovers look to get him back to his best condition for when they return to action after the international break.
He said: “Adam played the other night against Bristol City, which was a calculated gamble we took after a long chat together. We thought we’d dominate the ball and create more chances than we would do here.
“We decided to play him because he’s a brilliant finisher off of both feet despite him not being at 100 per cent.
“I thought that, to bring him here on a five-hour coach journey, and expecting him to play against the league leaders while nursing a hamstring injury while also having me shouting and demanding at him to run and work harder, wouldn’t have been the right thing for his welfare and for the long-term of the team.
“We left him at home and hopefully he’ll be fit and ready to fire on all cylinders after the break.”
You can understand Mowbray wanting to be cautious over Armstrong and he knew the forward would have had to do a lot of chasing and pressing from the front away against Norwich. That would have been a risk to him suffering another injury blow, so it was wise to keep him fresh and keep him recovering after he got his first run out since his injury against Bristol City.
The forward has not been able to be as prolific in the second half of the campaign, so perhaps a rest will do him good and he can return and try and get back to his best form when the season resumes once again. Blackburn will need that to be the case if they are going to be able to enjoy a strong ending to the season and take some confidence into next term.
The striker can be forgiven for having had a lot on his mind with a lot of transfer speculation surrounding him at the moment. However, he needs to get back onto the field and back to scoring goals if he is to continue to be in the shop window.