DOUGIE Freedman is on the verge of adding two vital ingredients into tomorrow’s Lancashire hotpot.
Change, it seems, is on the cards in the coming weeks as Freedman finally welcomes his walking wounded back into full training and integrates his January signings into his way of thinking.
But the Scot has made no secret of the fact that Davies and Medo are very much in his thinking as Sean Dyche’s play-off chasers come to town looking to complete the double over their local foes.
Medo has been on a winter break at his former club FK Partizan but has impressed in his first full week at Euxton with his level of fitness.
The Sierra Leone international – whose nickname translates to “Teddy Bear” in Serbian – could now be launched into the derby as a midfield sitter.
“Medo is the one we need to think about,” Freedman confirmed. “He hasn’t played a match for a few months but he is looking fit and he has trained very well.”
Davies had been in top form before falling heavily against Huddersfield Town in December and damaging shoulder ligaments that eventually required surgery.
Freedman admits that his side have lacked something in his absence, not least the goal threat that the former Wolves man had started to develop on a regular basis before his injury.
“Anyone in this division or any division would miss Mark Davies,” he said. “Losing him is a big blow.
“I am not an excuses guy but we have performed very well without getting the results. You can look at it two ways. One, you are missing your key man and, two, you have to take your chances when they come along and Mark Davies is the type of player who will do that.”
Freedman is convinced that performances have been better than results suggest since the turn of the year, with his side still searching for their first league win of 2013.
And feeling that his players have now settled into the system he brought to the club, the Scot feels that Davies's introduction in the play-maker role behind the front man could be the spur to a change in fortune.
“Mark had just settled into that number 10 role which to me is probably the most important role,” he said.
“We have tried different people in that role and Darren Pratley has been in there of late and done very well.
“There are small things that make huge differences in this game. But we have got to believe in what we are doing. We are playing very well.”
This weekend will come too early for two players involved in the “secret” midweek friendly organised at Euxton.
Stuart Holden and David Wheater are both pencilled in to play for the development squad against Chelsea on Monday night, after which Freedman reckons Wheater could play a more prominent role, but Holden's recovery will continue to be carefully managed.
“Wheater won't be available through his fitness. He is training every day and will play Monday,” Freedman confirmed.
“And I have been told that after he has played Monday, he will be in contention to be picked.
“Stuart just needs game after game. But he won't be right for this weekend but he is going to be right for the u21s. He needs recovery time after he has played.
“If I am not going to start him in a first team game on Saturday, he has to make sure he has recovered for Monday.”