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O'Neill: Cattermole Takes Knock, Mangane Lacking Fitness

Ahead of tomorrow's game against Wigan Athletic, Martin O'Neill has confirmed that Lee Cattermole has picked up a knock and Kader Mangane is struggling for match fitness.

Shaun Botterill

After making a fleeting appearance in the 0-2 home defeat in the FA Cup Third Round Replay against Bolton Wanderers, it has been confirmed by Martin O'Neill that Lee Cattermole has picked up a knock and is unlikely to take part in this weekend's trip to Wigan Athletic.

Speaking ahead of the game at the DW Stadium, O'Neill said of his skipper;

We have a number of injury problems ahead of the Wigan game, and I don't want to run through them.

But Lee Cattermole had had a bit of a setback.

He trained for the game yesterday - we were trying to get a bit more fitness into him and the new lads who have arrived - and he had a bit of a setback.

We are hoping it's not as bad as before, but I would say he would be doubtful for tomorrow.

It wouldn't be the first time that Cattermole has been rushed back from injury and found himself out for a longer spell -- something which has become quite infuriating at times under the reign of Martin O'Neill.

Whether blame lies with the gaffer for potentially rushing him back, or it lies with Cattermole claiming he is fit when he isn't, it needs to be addressed and Cattermole needs to get himself fit as he dramatically improves our entire side when he's on the pitch.

Whilst this might open the door for Alfred N'Diaye to make his full debut for the club, there's not much chance of Kader Mangane doing the same this weekend after O'Neill claimed he's short of match fitness, and needs a few weeks to get up to speed;

In the case of Mangane, he's short of fitness at the moment and that's something we'll have to monitor over the next week or two.

Hopefully there are no further injuries to our back line as if Mangane is way short of match fitness we could be forced into some pretty desperate measures.