Glyn Hodges today reported that a host of senior players will be missing for the home match versus League One leaders Lincoln City on Saturday.
Due to a combination of injury problems and players affected by Covid-19, our manager will bring several young professionals into the squad.
“At the moment, we are 12 down,” said Glyn. “We’ve got five who either have Covid or are isolating, and two other players who have been isolating and we will know on Saturday morning whether they are going to be involved or not. We’ve also got five injuries.
“Shane is in a better place than he was last week as he was struggling a bit then, and we are quite hopeful on Joe Pigott. Jaakko has just come back in and I thought he was excellent in the second-half at Oxford. Though he hasn’t had 90 minutes there is a possibility that he might get thrown in tomorrow. There are positives, but there are going to be some new faces on the bench. It’s just about making sure we know what we are doing, we know what we are about, and we give it our best.
“Paul Osew and Luke O’Neill are probably a couple of weeks away, which we are really pleased about, but Ben Heneghan will be out for a bit longer.”
A crop of our young talents have shown promise on loan this season, including Jack Currie (Leatherhead), Archie Procter (Carshalton Athletic), and Huseyin Biler (Hendon). Ayoub Assal also travelled with the first-team squad to Oxford and Jack Madelin and Zach Robinson have now put injury problems behind them.
Glyn added that he will have no qualms about throwing any of them in at the deep end if they are required to take on the league leaders.
“It’s great,” said Glyn. “We did it last season when Jack Madelin came on at Burton and this season Zach came on at Oxford. We are not afraid to give these young boys their debuts. They train with us, I trust them, and I have confidence in them. Whoever starts or plays tomorrow, I am more than happy with them putting the shirt on and representing the club.
“This morning’s training session was great. The numbers have not been as big as normal, but we’ve managed to get some good work in. It has been a good working week and hopefully at the start of a new year we can get back to winning ways on Saturday.”
Alex Woodyard will offer experience as he returns to the squad for the visit of his former club after serving a one match suspension.
Lincoln City manager Michael Appleton will not be at Plough Lane after testing positive for Covid-19 – Goalkeeper Coach Steve Croudson will also miss the game for the same reason – but Glyn is under no illusions about the size of the task tomorrow.
“We’ve looked at Lincoln, and they are a good side. They have got back to winning ways and they are looking strong. As always, it doesn’t’ matter if you are playing against a side near the top or the bottom, you know that you have to be at your best to get something.
“The manager has built a new squad and they’ve hit the ground running. Dave Kerslake, who I know, is his Assistant, and they’ve done a great job.”
Click on the link below to watch Rob Cornell’s full update with Glyn, which includes our manager on the possibility of improving the squad now that the transfer window is open.