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Arsenal (A) Sun 1 Mar 2015, 14:05, Barclays Premier League

by Andy Lewis @efc_andylewis

David Moyes admits it is unlikely he will have any good news on his injured players ahead of the trip to Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday night.

The Blues have a number of fitness concerns at present with Phil Jagielka (knee), Leon Osman (foot), Jack Rodwell (hamstring), Tony Hibbert (groin), Tim Cahill (groin) and Ross Barkley (knee) all missing the weekend's FA Cup win over Tamworth.

Seamus Coleman limped out of that game with a recurrence of a groin injury and Moyes told his pre-match press conference it will again essentially be the same group that took on the non-leaguers.

Asked whether any players would return to the squad, Moyes said: "I wouldn't expect so. We have some injuries but we will see who is fit and go with that."

That would suggest the Blues bench - as it has been at times this season - will have a rather youthful look to it again.

The likes of Conor McAleny, Shane Duffy and Apostolos Vellios were all on the bench at the weekend and Moyes feel just being in and around the first-team matchday squad is really benefiting them.

"That is the way it goes around sometimes," added the Everton manager. "The young boys get their opportunities, they come in and they actually get added to your squad, get a bit of experience and you can start to see if they're good enough or not.

"That's for them then to keep stepping up to the plate every time they're asked to do so. We've introduced one or two this season and a lot of it's because we've had to. It's for them to grab that opportunity, take it and continue to develop."

On the plus side for Moyes, Marouane Fellaini and Royston Drenthe returned at the weekend and will again be available at White Hart Lane.

"Roy came back. He had been ill and he had only trained on Friday morning so it was good to get him some minutes on the pitch," continued Moyes.

"He's got the ability to have moments in his game which are really important. It's something which we needed. He's helped us in a couple of games, a lot of it has mainly been coming off the bench and helping us and at home I think he's an important player."

As for Fellaini, Moyes added: “The challenge for him in the second half of the season is to be one of the top midfield players in the country, which I am sure he can do.”


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