Town boss Neil Aspin said his priority was to strengthen his injury-ravaged squad ahead of tomorrow’s FA Trophy first round derby clash with Guiseley at the Shay (3pm).
Aspin saw his squad decimated again in Tuesday night’s 3-2 Conference Premier Division defeat at Hereford where he lost defenders Marc Roberts and Danny Lowe and winger Adam Smith to injuries.
They joined long term absentees Ryan Toulson and Lee Gregory, who are both awaiting operations on their respective injuries.
Former Leeds and Port Vale defender Aspin had not ruled out the possibility of bringing more loan players in ahead of last night’s deadline
“My priority is to assess the injuries and see if we can bring players in to fill the gaps,” said Aspin. “It is a major problem and I cannot even think about the Guiseley game until I find out what I have to work with.
“You always want to play your strongest team and not to have to keep patching up here and there.”
Aspin has brought three young and hungry loan players in recently and is looking to explore the same avenues in order to increase his options.
However, he is only too aware that the process is fraught with problems.
“We have been watching alot of under 21 matches and of course you speak to people all the time,” he added.
“You have to be realistic and look at the lads who are eager to do well.
“Obviously there are alot of obstacles; which players you can afford, which players want to come, which don’t want to play part time.
“There are alot of variables involved and until you get the players signed up then there are no guarantees.”
While Aspin is confident he will be able to put out a strong and competitive side tomorrow, he acknowledges that Guiseley won’t make it easy for his players.
The Nethermoor side, who Town beat over two legs in the Conference North play-off semi-finals last season, suffered a poor start to the season by their recent high standards.
However, after dismissing manager Steve Kittrick, they turned to former Shayman Mark Bower who has turned their fortunes around and they are currently unbeaten in eight matches in all competitions.
“I have alot of respect for Guiseley,” added Aspin.
“They have done really well as a club and they always play football the right way.
“It was good to get the better of them in the play-offs last season but they have improved dramatically from where they were earlier this season and will be a major threat.”
“Mark Bower did well for me as a player and I am delighted that he is getting a chance in management and hope he does very well.
“They also have Alex Johnson there and you honestly couldn’t meet a nicer lad.
“There was no bad feeling when he left and I would love to see him carve out a really good career for himself.
“The trophy is also a good competition. We did well in it last season and we want to do even better this time around.”