United’s planning for the away game at Bolton on Tuesday night was thrown into disarray with just nine minutes on the clock when defender Rod McDonald went to ground as he indicated a problem with his leg.
Speaking about the incident after full-time, manager Chris Beech said: “I haven’t caught up with Rod so I don’t know how he is as we speak right now.
“Obviously it wasn’t in the plan, but credit to Nick Anderton for how he played when he came on, he did very well. It was one of those situations where I was very energised at the time about solving a problem we didn’t expect to have.
“But, yes, he was definitely struggling. We’ll look at what it is over the next few days.”
On the challenge of switching things around quickly to make sure it didn’t disrupt the overall game plan, he added: “We’ve got a great squad and, like I say, I thought Nick was excellent. Overall it probably didn’t affect the outcome of the evening.
“I couldn’t use that as an excuse for not gaining something. Nick played well defensively and added to what we were doing going forward, and that’s all you can ask from any player who is out there.
“He’s played there [left-sided centre half] for Blackpool briefly in League One. He’s a player who can play a number of roles, and he’s also got the hardest shot at the club. He had one that he felt hit a hand on the way through, when he was inside the box, but it didn’t go our way.
“He’s one who can also play at left back, outside left, he has that versatility. That’s the same with a number of the lads because that’s the type of squad we had to put together in the summer.
“We can’t stockpile two people for every position, so we need players who we know can provide cover when it’s needed. That’s what we got with that particular change.”
And on the absence of Ozzy Zanzala, who picked up an injury late in the day during the weekend Port Vale game, he told us: “He was confident on Saturday of being fit for Bolton, but he wasn’t, so I’m hoping he’ll be ready for Harrogate.
“Games are running out, we know that, and you want as many of your players available as possible so that you have options and, of course, it makes the squad stronger.
“It’s another example of how you need those things to go for you because you want to see your squad strong when you come to venues like this. I’m hopeful he might be right for Saturday to give us something else to think about in terms of selection.
“His leg just wasn’t quite right for another game so soon. You’ve got to be really careful but it goes without saying I want him involved with us.”