It’s fair to say that injuries have been more than a bugbear so far this season, so it was with a hint of frustration that news received ahead of kick off at Grimsby that a scan on Sonny Hilton’s ankle had confirmed fears that there was damage to a ligament, as well as pain and swelling.
“I desperately want some players back fit, because I’m getting annoyed with this injury situation now,” manager Paul Simpson said. “We’ve had another blow with Sonny Hilton, he finishes the game Saturday, complains of rolling his ankle, and we now find out he’s out for six to eight weeks with a ligament problem.
“He’s ruptured his ligaments at the front of his ankle. He’s been for a scan and we got the results just before the game. It’s horrible news for Sonny, it’s an injury he’s had before a few years ago.
“There’s a little bit of hope it might heal quicker than that because he’s done it before, but we’ll just wait and see.”
“We have 11 injuries in total at the moment and it’s horrible,” he added. “I’m actually starting to get really annoyed, it’s doing my head in.
“When I think about them all and try to assess why it’s happening, we have three ankle injuries that we couldn’t have done anything about. There’s Sonny, and Ben Barclay and Ryan Edmondson were rolled ankles after contact as well.
“We have the three ACL injuries, with two of them that I inherited. We have a couple of muscle injuries, and it’s really starting to get to me, because it is stretching us.
“I want to start seeing players back. If you look at our bench, we’ve got Jack Ellis as an 18-year-old, Nic Bollado and Ryan Carr, and Duncan Idehen is another inexperienced lad.
“Don’t get me wrong, they deserve to be on the bench because these were the 18 lads we had available, but with that we know we’re getting very close to the bone.
“What a performance from everyone with grit and determination to see it through and keep it tight. They had a lot of possession, but I can’t think of too many saves that Tomas has had to make.”
As with every situation like this, there are bound to be questions asked as to why it’s been such a sustained run of bad news.
“When I look at all the injuries we’re trying to work out where the problems are coming and how we’re doing it,” he confirmed. “As we’ve said, we’ve seen knocks and awkward landings, so you can’t blame training.
“Most of these injuries you can’t legislate for. Morgan and Omari were very close to being fit and I really want them available for the weekend.
“I’m not saying they’re going to start because they’re going to have to work like the lads who have stepped in and earn their place back in the side. But I want some players back fit. I’m starting to get annoyed with the injuries now.
“On Tuesday morning we left just before 9am and Gav and Ross stayed behind to do a session with a number of players - Tobi Sho-Silva, Ryan Ednondson, Ben Barclay, Morgan Feeney and Omari Patrick.
“Gav stayed behind to do a proper football session so we haven’t wasted a day. I need players to be training Wednesday, Thursday and Friday before we can consider putting them in for the weekend. This weekend might still be too soon, but I’ll assess that later in the week.
“I’m looking and thinking that when we’ve got these boys fit, we’ve got a really strong group to go and push on. It gives me some headaches about selection.
“I want headaches, I want to look around the bench and see senior players there who I think can come on and change the game. That’s not being disrespectful to the younger ones, it’s why you put a squad together.”
Thankfully he was able to put to bed any fears that the substitutions of Jon Mellish and Jordan Gibson had anything to do with any kind of injury concerns.
“No, we just needed to change it,” he told us. “I wanted to get some freshness with Taylor Charters out there and Jayden Harris into midfield, just to try and put some energy in.
“I thought Taylor did that, he travelled up the pitch well, closed the left back down, got us up the pitch, and Jayden got involved. It was more to try and find a permutation of 11 players just to see it over the line.”
Click HERE to watch an interview with Paul Simpson on iFollow United now.
Click HERE to see a clip from this interview on our YouTube channel. Follow the same link for more FREE content right from the heart of the club.