Manager Paul Hurst has provided an injury update ahead of the trip to take on Forest Green Rovers, with Regan Slater and Jordan Hallam the only injury absentees.
Slater has been absent since the start of November with an ankle injury, while Hallam has sat out the last month too with a hamstring problem.
He told iFollow Iron: “It’s slow progress with Regan, taking longer than we thought it would have done. (The injury) hasn’t responded as we hoped initially, so it rules him out a bit longer than first envisaged. Jordy has had a couple of minor setbacks that have stopped him because we hoped he’d now be back in full training. Hopefully he’ll be back shortly though.”
The boss continued: “Some of the players will not travel and unfortunately that’s just where we are with the squad. As a manager, you’d rather have that than be left with bare bones. That’s just part of it and those players who aren’t in the squad just need to keep working hard and be ready when called upon. We know it can change very quickly and the last time we got to this point, we then had a spate of injuries, but hopefully that’s not the case this time.”
United return to action for the first time since last Wednesday, when they visited Blackpool in the Leasing.com Trophy second round and won 3-1.
“(The break’s) been welcome in one sense but at the same time, when you’re winning games of football you’re more than happy for the matches to come thick and fast,” added Hurst.
“While some players played on Friday night (for the Under-23s against Newcastle), it was good to have a behind-closed-doors game at Lincoln on Tuesday for those players, and one or two that didn’t play last week, just to get some minutes in their legs. I think we’ll struggle to give them more minutes in the schedule ahead unless it’s in the first team. We have one more midweek Under-23s game they can play in (at Mansfield Town next week), while the other one prior to Christmas is the day before we go to Grimsby. We’ve tried to keep everyone topped up so if the opportunity arises for them they’re ready.”
Looking ahead to the challenge high-flying Forest Green will pose, Hurst continued: “They’ll be positive, sitting second in the table, so we won’t be expecting an easy game. I went to watch them at home against Crewe in their last league game and it was two of the better teams in the division going head-to-head. Both teams wanted to pass the ball, and Forest Green are known for being a good footballing side.
“It will be a big challenge for us but one we feel ready for, and one where we won’t be fearing the opposition with the form we’ve been in. It’s a long journey again and it would be great for everybody connected if we could go there and get something from the game.”
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