O’Ware and Oliver expected to make derby squad

Manager Jim Duffy expects both Thomas O’Ware and Gary Oliver to make the matchday squad for Saturday’s Renfrewshire derby against St Mirren here at Cappielow.

Forward Oliver has been absent since the Betfred Cup tie against Berwick Rangers on Saturday 15 July as he recovered from a negative reaction to antibiotics prescribed for tonsillitis.

O’Ware, meanwhile, is working back to full fitness following a stress fracture suffered during a bounce game at the very beginning of pre-season, and gaffer Duffy says both the vice-captain and Oliver should be ready to be involved in some capacity.

He told gmfc.net: “Ricki Lamie came back in last week, Gary Harkins is back available again after suspension, Gary Oliver is still not 100 per cent but he’ll certainly be involved in the squad, because he’s getting there in terms of his health.

“His general health is good now, it’s just about getting his strength back. He’ll maybe not be able to start the game, but he’ll certainly be back in the squad, as will Thomas O’Ware.

“Thomas hasn’t played any games at all and obviously got an operation in the summer, so it’s been a couple of months. In an ideal world, I would like to get him a couple of bounce games before we throw him right in.

“But he’s such an experienced player now even though he’s only turned 24, and he’s a very important player for us – so he’ll come back into the squad as well.

“We’re getting healthier and having Thomas and the two Garys back available again and in the squad gives us more strength in depth, and that’s important for us.

“In this division, we’re going to need everybody to be ready to compete for a place and give me different options of selection depending on who we are playing.”

Despite serving a one-match suspension carried over from his time at Dumbarton at the weekend, player/under-20s coach Darren Barr will still be absent due to injury.

Duffy added: “Darren’s still injured. He rolled his ankle against Motherwell – it already was injured; as I mentioned before he took painkillers and strapped up the ankle to play – and he’s still out with an ankle ligament injury.”


Image: Gary Bradley