West Brom manager Valerien Ismael has suggested that Dara O’Shea is in a positive mindset as he begins the long process of recovering from his injury setback.
O’Shea had been enjoying an excellent start to the campaign and was impressing at the heart of Ismael’s back three in the Championship in the opening weeks of the season.
The 22-year-old had been averaging 2.2 interceptions, 2.4 tackles and 3.6 clearances per game for the Baggies, as well as helping them record two clean sheets in their first five Championship matches.
The Republic of Ireland international had even proved to be a real goal scoring threat for the Baggies from set-pieces in the first few weeks of the season, with him scoring in the opening day draw at Bournemouth and in the 4-0 thrashing of Sheffield United.
However, O’Shea is now set for a prolonged period on the sidelines with him having suffered a broken ankle injury and also sustained ligament damage whilst on international duty with the Republic of Ireland.
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Speaking to the Express and Star, Ismael revealed that patience is going to be the name of the game for the defender now as he sets out his road to recovery from injury. While he also insisted that he feels that O’Shea is in a positive frame of mind despite the injury setback.
The Baggies boss said: “I’ve spoken with him and he’s good, he’s fine, positive. It will take a long time but at least from the mindset he has the focus to come back. He’s giving great signs.
“I didn’t see a player who is negative or feels bad about the situation, completely the opposite – very smiley, very happy.
“Now he can focus on recovery. He will need time. And he must be patient because it will take a long time.”
You have to feel for O’Shea because he was getting into the best period of form that we have seen from him so far during his career.
The 22-year-old is perfectly suited to Ismael’s back three and he was emerging as one of the standout defenders in the Championship in the first month of the campaign.
It would be easy for the defender to now be feeling very down after suffering a major injury at this moment in his career. However, Ismael’s comment here suggests that O’Shea is maintaining the sort of positive mindset that it is going to take to help him recover in the best possible way.
If O’Shea can return to action before the end of the campaign, then that would be a huge boost for the Baggies and it would be like having a new signing come into their squad.
However, for now, they are having to find solutions without him and Ismael has not been helped by Matt Clarke’s absence as well.
Clarke though is returning to fitness now and that will give them a major boost, O’Shea has a long road ahead of him as he recovers from injury, but he seems to have the mental strength needed to come back stronger from it.