So Jota is out after all.
Disappointing. Not unexpected.
Nothing at our club is confirmed until the manager says it is; the media doesn’t get to make that call, he does.
And now Ange has. Jota’s not just out for the final but for other games to come.
That’s bad. It does not have to be a disaster.
This is why we have a squad. Moments like this offer other players opportunities to shine.
The prime beneficiary might be Giakoumakis, when he’s fit.
The press has been trying to paint us as a one team club all season.
For most of the campaign so far that has been Kyogo. Now it’s Jota we can’t do without.
The team will survive. The squad is big enough that his loss, although bad, is not fatal.
Ange has big decisions to make, but this is what the man is paid the big bucks for. Our best performance of the season so far, at least domestically, was at the weekend when Kyogo failed to score and Jota was not on the pitch.
The longer this team plays together the stronger it gets.
The stronger it gets the less we are going to let these injuries affect either our confidence or our performances. The team will come through.
The decisions Ange makes will determine how it’s done.
He can stick with Mikey out there, or switch Forrest left and bring Abada back into the team.
He can push Montgomery forward into his natural role.
And, of course, he can play Kyogo in the position where he played many of his games in his native Japan.
I’ve been arguing for months now that our team will be stronger when Giakoumakis is fully fit and we can get them both into the team at the same time.
The opportunity to do that might well have come, and we have eight games to come in this month to test it out.
One way or another, though, I expect us to come through.
The game tonight won’t tell us much, as I expect Ange to go with a rotated team, but Motherwell at the weekend will be a stronger team and will offer us a better idea of what the plans are.