Tommy Elphick, Collin Quaner, Alex Pritchard, Fraizer Campbell and Lewis O’Brien missed Saturday’s 2-0 win over Nottingham Forest through injury, while Jaden Brown returned from the bench. With Cowley refusing to pick Terence Kongolo, Adama Diakhaby, Isaac Mbenka, Herbert Bockhorn and Reece Brown, who he says have not bought into his “values”, it has caused problems Town will look to rectify in January’s transfer window.
Cowley is, however, hopeful two from Pritchard, Campbell and O’Brien will face Middlesbrough on Boxing Day.
“When we arrived we had an unbalanced squad,” argued Cowley, who took over in September. “It wasn’t a Championship-robust squad.
“You have to prepare a squad for that. Pre-season is very, very important. “Jaden, Fraizer and Tommy Elphick were contact injuries and you’re then having to use the same players game after game.
“Danny Simpson didn’t have a pre-season and with more of a balanced squad we could have eased him in a bit more.
“You get in this vicious circle, it’s like a snowball effect, and it’s not easy to get out of. We threw Jaden Brown back in on Saturday – he’d only (started) ten senior games, he’d only had two days of training, he wasn’t ready, but we just had kids on the bench.”