Hardy’s ready to step into breach

TOWN will be boosted for Saturday’s Blue Square Bet North clash with Hinckley United at the Shay by the return of Aaron Hardy.

And he could hardly be back at a better time with defensive duo Liam Hogan and Scott McManus both missing from the squad through suspension.

Hardy has missed the last three league games against Altrincham, Workington and Blyth Spartans after suffering ligament damage in the FA Trophy replay defeat to Colwyn bay.

“The ankle was not quite right on Saturday so the Gaffer said he wouldn’t risk me,” he said.

“Obviously we have a couple of injuries to deal with this weekend so hopefully I will be starting.”

Hardy began the campaign at right back but has most recently been playing as a defensive midfielder.

He is likely to be required somewhere in the back four with Hogan and McManus sidelined for one match.

But at this stage he is not entirely sure where he will line up against a Hinckley side currently just above the drop zone.

“Who knows? It might be in goal!” he said. “I am happy to play wherever the manager puts me. I can do a job at right back, left back or in midfield, where I was playing before I got injured.

“I will be happy to play wherever I am asked to play.”

Hardy was spared the trip to Workington last Tuesday but was at the Shay to watch his teammates complete a comfortable 3-0 win over Blyth at the weekend.

Despite the result, he admitted he would have preferred to have been at home.

“I hate watching,” he said. “Over the last two and a half years I have been lucky to be injury free most of the time.

“I have played most games but if I am not playing because I am injured I would rather be at home watching Sky Sports News.”

Part of his desire to be away from the Shay was his frustration at having to watch rather than be involved.

But he will return to a side with growing confidence on the back of wins over Altrincham and Blyth.

“Obviously it is frustrating for any player when he is out, but we had two good wins last week.

“The six points have put us in a good position for the games coming up against Hinckley and Gainsborough.”

Harry Winter has left the Shaymen and is expected to hook up with Hyde FC.

The midfielder made just a handful of appearances last season as Town stormed to the Evo Stik Premier Division title.

And he has been involved in a little over half of the league games Neil Aspin’s side have played so far this season.

Town have made entry for Saturday’s game against Hinckley free for all Under 12s as long as each youngster is accompanied by an adult.

The admission price for 16 and unders has been dropped to £5.