Paul Hurst believes Grimsby Town’s squad depth is being genuinely tested at this moment with injuries and suspensions affecting his team selection ahead of the Swindon Town game.
The Mariners will be desperate to get back to winning ways, particularly on the road have not won yet on their travels this term, picking up just two points from their first four away league outings. It does not get any easier for Town this weekend though, as they face the league’s top scorers and one of the two unbeaten teams left in the division.
Michael Flynn’s side have netted 24 times in the league already, only failing to score in one game in all competitions. Ahead of another tough test, Hurst had more injury news to report, with some unexpected absentees in the camp ahead of the game and one more long-term issue added to the injury list.
He said: “We’re going to have a few out, there are a few that everyone knows about that are longer term. The likes of Evan Khouri and Niall Maher are still injured and will be missing [for the Swindon game].
“Callum Ainley is one that we lost last week and that is unfortunately quite a significant calf injury that will keep him out for weeks and maybe even a couple of months, which is disappointing considering he was just getting going. He felt it in the [Crawley] game even though he wasn’t out there for loads of time. He got through the game but afterwards was sore and the scan wasn’t good reading so that is another one we miss.”
Maher is one of the biggest misses for the game, considering how important Town’s defensive organisation will be against ruthless, attack-focused opposition, with Kamil Conteh also out as he serves an automatic one-game suspension for picking up five yellow cards. Hurst is confident that the squad he can name will still be good enough to hand Swindon their first league defeat of the season, but this is a true test of Town’s resolve and quality in what has been a difficult start to the campaign.
Hurst added: “[Kamil Conteh] is suspended as well so the squad is starting to get stretched and tested at this moment in time. There is no real surprise because we knew that this could happen, it is probably just a bit sooner than we would’ve liked.
“We wanted a smaller squad and we are probably a player over what we thought, but this moment shows that you need those options available. We’ve had a couple of others that haven’t been able to train until today, but we’ll have a team and a bench ready to impact in what will be a difficult game.
“Some players have impressed more than others [in training] and in the end, that might just influence the decision. You might have to include some players that haven’t trained as well as you would liked, but that is what you have to do sometimes to get the best team out there.”
Original story at https://www.grimsbytelegraph.co.uk/sport/