Raring to go
Reporter: Matthew Chambers
Date online: 14 February 2013
ROBBIE Simpson is confident he and Matt Smith will be fit to face Everton.
Both men were back in full training today, hoping to catch the eye of caretaker manager Tony Philliskirk as one of the largest squads of the season jockeys for starting roles.
Simpson came through a mini fitness test on a slight hamstring tear unscathed. Smith, who injured his shoulder after scoring twice against Liverpool in the last round, tested himself in this morning's session.
“I was very disappointed not to make it for MK Dons and it was probably just a case of the game arriving a day or two too early,” said Simpson, who missed the 3-1 home win last week.
“As for Matt, he’s absolutely fine in the lower limbs, but he uses his arms a lot when going up to head the ball so it is important he can withstand the pressure that brings.”
If both men are passed fit for the fifth-round tie, Athletic will be able to select from 22 players.
Captain Dean Furman - a sub against Dons - is among them, with only Paul Murray (cup-tied), Connor Hughes (knee) and injured Cristian Montano (thigh) missing.
“I am sure that with that workload the whole squad will need to be used, so even with so many players on board now, everyone will have to be ready,” said Simpson.
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