Armstrong and Bella-Kotchap remain sidelined


Southampton manager Nathan Jones will be without Armel Bella-Kotchap and Stuart Armstrong for Wednesday night’s Carabao Cup quarter-final against Manchester City.

Both players were absent from Saturday’s win at Crystal Palace in the third round of the FA Cup, as a result of injury, and the Saints boss confirmed neither would return for this week’s tie at St Mary’s.

In terms of Armstrong specifically, Jones explained again that although the midfielder has been able to push through the pain barrier to give the team a short burst from the bench, it is better in the long-run to give him the time to recover properly.

There was an element of positive news, however, with Jones adding that some of the players they have been bringing back from injury are likely to be available for an increased number of minutes this week.

Asked about the potential return of players for Wednesday, Jones said: “Not in terms of Armel and Stuart Armstrong. But we looked after a few in terms of minutes [on Saturday] because they were coming back, and we’ll be able to call on one or two of those.

“Stuart has been playing through injury for a while, so we’ve only been able to get 15 or 20 minutes out of him, but to be fair we can’t keep doing that.”

Jones was also asked in his pre-match press conference about the availability of new signing Mislav Oršić, who joined on Friday from Dinamo Zagreb and had his first full training session at Staplewood today.

“That’s a daily thing we have to assess,” said Jones. “Obviously, he hasn’t played much football since scoring the winner in the World Cup third-fourth play-off.

“We’re just going to have to assess that, because what we don’t want to do is push him too early and something happens and he breaks down and then we lose him. So we’ll just see, it’s day to day.”