Defensive shortage could force Buckle into transfer market
Hatters face a major defensive shortage for their Blue Square Bet Premier trip to Ebbsfleet this afternoon, writes Mike Simmonds.
Hungarian Janos Kovacs is not expected to recover from the groin strain that kept him out of Saturday’s 1-0 home defeat to AFC Telford, while Ronnie Henry starts a three game suspension after receiving a straight red card during the match.
Speaking about the absence of Kovacs, Town boss Paul Buckle said: “He’s got a groin (injury). I don’t know how long he’s going to be but with two games in quick succession, I doubt very much he’ll be available for Monday.
“It’s a strain on his groin, the upper part of his leg, so it could be a week or two. We can’t (bring anyone else in), we have to concentrate on Monday, work with what we’ve got.”
Centre-half Dean Beckwith could be in line for his first appearance of the season as Buckle will once again have to reshuffle his backline.
The loss of Garry Richards has proved key, with Buckle originally hoping that the former Gillingham man would form a partnership with Kovacs, as the boss admitted he might have to venture into the transfer market before the window closes on Friday.
He continued: “We may need to have a look at things and try to bring somebody else in because Richards is going to be quite a while now.
“We’ve got a small squad, but we’ve got enough quality in there. With Richards, out, Kovacs out and Ronnie suspended, that would leave anyone short, so we’re going to have to improvise.”
Although Town fell to a surprise defeat against Telford on Saturday, Buckle didn’t think it should have any adverse on the squad’s confidence as they prepare for the trip to Stonebridge Road.
He said: “Any team that loses a game looks to bounce back the next game. We’ve got a great opportunity on Monday, so no-ones head will be down, we’ll be positive.
“There’s no time in football to have your head down, if you get your head down and get too negative over one defeat, you’ve got to have a serious look at yourself.”
On the challenge Ebbsfleet possess, Buckle said: “I’ve not paid too much attention to them, I’m fully focused on the job here.
“We’ve got a very new squad and have come a real long way in a short space of time. It’s not easy to keep getting wins and points but we have to take it on the chin.
“I certainly can’t be slagging players off or falling out with a couple of fans who are moaning as there’s not a lot wrong at the moment.”
Defender Lathaniel Rowe-Turner will have to form another central defensive partnership with Kovacs and Henry absent, as he added: “There will be someone else there, but I’m sure it will work well.
“Hopefully we can go and get three points there and then go again Saturday.
“I personally don’t know too much about them (Ebbsfleet), but I’m sure the coaches will let us know, and hopefully there will be a good following there.”
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Tuesday 21 May 2013
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