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MANAGER: We'll try to manage it this week

Paul Simpson on Paul Huntington

5 March 2023

For a squad that’s had its fair share of injury woes it comes as no surprise when there’s a collective holding of breath whenever a player goes down, or signals to the bench that something might not be quite right.

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That was the case again on Saturday afternoon when experienced defender Paul Huntington spoke to manager Paul Simpson about an uncomfortable feeling is his groin.

“He told me a couple of minutes before we took him off that his groin was tightening up, so I told him to see how it goes and see how it was feeling for a while,” the gaffer explained. “But a minute or two later he said that it was getting worse.

“That’s why I took him out of it. I wanted to get him off before it got too bad. We can’t afford anybody getting injured at the moment because we’ve got far too many already.

“We’ll assess him as we go through the week now and hopefully it will calm down. We have to manage Hunts with his training anyway because of the stage of his career so this week will be no different.”

And ahead of the game it was confirmed that wing back Joel Senior had suffered with a sickness bug during the run-up to the game, which meant he took a place on the bench.

“He started with it on Wednesday night, but he came in and trained on Friday afternoon on his own,” the manager told us. “He’s hardly eaten anything for 24 hours, probably 36 hours actually, and I felt I needed energy in that position for this game.

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“I wanted a high tempo performance and I felt it was too much of a gamble, and thankfully Jordan came in and did a job for us.

“It makes life easier as a manager when you have players who can go on and do the job for you. When I’m making these substitutions I’ve got no hesitation in doing it.

“As soon as Hunts said there was a problem it was, yep, Corey get on there. As soon as I felt as though Alfie was tiring it was a case of let’s get Joel on.

“Jordan Gibson showed his versatility and went into midfield, so we have a good group. At the moment it’s just not a big enough group, and I want to get back to having more bodies available.”

“I’m absolutely delighted there’s no Tuesday game, I really am,” he continued. “We know what the schedule says, and we’ve got Bradford at some point on a Tuesday in the next few weeks, but this will give us an opportunity to hopefully get Hunts fit, freshen everybody else up and give Joel a full week of training.

“Maybe some of the lads who aren’t starting will get minutes on Tuesday night, if we think it’s necessary.

“We had Ben Barclay, Jamie Devitt and Ryan Edmondson doing a bit before the game, and they’re getting closer, they really are.

“Ryan has trained all week with the group, it’s just when is it too early after shoulder surgery? Ben has trained a few days with the group, so there’s a good chance he’ll get some minutes on Tuesday.

“If we feel it will be more beneficial for him to train through the week we’ll get as much running into him as we possibly can.

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