Versatile Paul Rooney taken off as injury precaution as Hawks end Bognor friendly with 10-men and suffer defeat

Manager Paul Doswell revealed he brought Paul Rooney off in Hawks' 3-2 friendly defeat to Bognor as an injury precaution.

Saturday, 17th July 2021, 6:12 pm
Paul Rooney. Picture: Kieron Louloudis

The Irishman limped off with 10 minutes left against the Rocks, forcing the hosts to finish the pre-season fixture with 10 men as boss Paul Doswell had already used all four available substitutes.

Rooney had some Achilles swelling heading into the friendly which became aggravated in the second half.

Doswell stressed it would have been silly to 'risk' worsening the injury for the versatile former Millwall and Colchester man so instructed him to come off.

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Hawks conceded twice in the final seven minutes after Rooney was forced off to eventually suffer a 3-2 defeat.

But Doswell insisted making sure Rooney's issue did not worsen was much more important than the final result.

The Hawks boss said: ‘We were fine up until the 80th minute. Roons had to come off, if it was a league game he'd have stayed on, but I can't risk anything.

‘He's got a little swelling around his Achilles which he had before the game but it wasn't hurting him.

‘In the second half it really started to tighten up and affect the other side of his ankle.

‘When we saw him really starting to limp I said to get him off - results are unimportant.

‘He won't be okay for Tuesday, whether it's a week or 10 days, he's just got to make sure it's right for him.

‘With 10 men for that last 10 minutes - both teams had a lot of players playing 90 minutes - fair play to them, they've scored two good goals to win the game.’

Rooney will now miss Hawks' trip to Salisbury for a pre-season friendly on Tuesday evening.

Joe Newton (ankle) and George McLennan (personal issue) will also be unavailable for the match against Steve Claridge's men.

Meanwhile, Hawks midfielder Christian Rowe was part of the AFC Totton squad who faced Salisbury in a friendly today as Doswell eyes a possible loan move for the youngster.