Roy Hodgson confirmed his squad have not picked up any fresh injuries during the international break, as he prepares for his side to take on Everton at Goodison Park.
“The players who played internationals all seem to be OK,” he said in his pre-match press conference. “There’s only one we haven’t yet seen but we believe he’s fine, and that’s Cheikhou Kouyate. He had a longer journey than the others.
“I think the only player we’re likely to get back is Tyrick Mitchell, although we’re still assessing James McCarthy and Nathaniel Clyne.”
Hodgson also touched on Connor Wickham, who impressed in outings for the Under-23s side last month.
“To get in the team, he has to keep proving his fitness and working hard,” he said. “He knows that in the centre-forward position we do have options.
“In that respect Connor’s task is harder, but it’s good to see him play those U23s games and get those minutes under his belt, and for him to get two goals in a win.”
Ahead of the return of Premier League football this weekend, Hodgson reiterated the importance of staying injury free as the season comes to a close.
“We’ll be aided by the fact that Wilfried Zaha and Jeffrey Schlupp – two of our main attacking players who have the ability to do things the opposition don’t expect – will be with us for these last nine games.
“I’m hoping that we will keep players fit in these last nine games because that was a massive problem for us in the start-up period at the end of last season, when there were an awful lot of games to be played.
“We’ll keep cracking on and try and get as many points as we can and try and finish as high up as we can.”