United boss Mark Robins saluted the efforts of Terry Hawkridge following the 24-year-old’s performance at right-back during Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Crawley.The former Gainsborough Trinity winger was pressed into a more defensive role from the start after Eddie Nolan was ruled out through injury.
For much of the contest it seemed Hawkridge would form part of a defence that registered a clean sheet before two late goals from the hosts rescued a point for the Red Devils, and Robins told The Iron Player: “I thought he did very well, and dealt with everything they played at him, especially in the first half.
“It was a day for Terry today; we knew they would probably play the way they did, and it would give him an involvement in the game. He’s new to that position and needs to work on it if he’s going to feature there regularly.”
Ahead of the contest in Sussex, Robins had spoken of his desire to add further recruitments to his back-line, with the need to strengthen at right-back a pressing concern.
Robins added: “There’s no secret I’m going to be looking to strengthen the back four over the coming weeks and months.
“Players and people take different lengths of time to recover from similar injuries, so we’ll see. We hope he [Nolan] is a quick healer because we need everybody fit and available.
“Things change on a daily basis. We’ve had an injury to Miguel [Llera] now, so we’ll see how that goes, and if there’s maybe a need in another area.”
The loss of Llera during the first half saw Robins forced into an unwanted change which broke up a developing defensive partnership, and he admitted: “The injury caused us a problem with the continuity because the two lads [Llera and Andrew Boyce] have played together really well, and we looked comfortable.
“Obviously that was a real shame, and I hope he’s ok. I think it’s his shin and there’s a tackle, but again I’ve not seen any repeat of the challenge as I was looking for other things.
“I just saw the end of the challenge, and didn’t see the impact, but a change was made and Shaun [Brisley] came in and picked up where he left off.”
See much more from Mark Robins, Paddy Madden and Neal Bishop on The Iron Player.