Shaymen could be without trio for start of busy festive period

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FC Halifax Town could be without three players when they kick-off their festive schedule against Nuneaton at the Shay on Saturday (3.0).

Paul Marshall has a virus and is rated as “very doubtful” by boss Neil Aspin, while striker Ross Dyer is also struggling with flu.

Winger Adam Smith hasn’t trained this week after landing awkwardly on his neck during the game at Torquay and is also a doubt.

But Aspin has called his players to roll up their sleeves ahead of a hectic run of five games in 13 days.

“I just need to try and pick my best team,” he said. “I don’t want to read too much into resting players.

“In my day we had to play games and get on with it.

“It is more difficult when you have players with jobs but they aren’t working so much over this period.

“But I don’t want to make excuses.

“We won’t be training as such because the games will take care of fitness.

“It’s not a time for excuses, it’s a time for rolling up our sleeves and getting on with it.”

Aspin said viruses within the squad are more prevalent at this time of year but is keen for his squad to do their bit in staying as fit as possible.

“We just need to keep reassessing (the squad) every game,” he said.

“It’s not just the fatigue - we’ve had a couple of players coming down with viruses lately.

“People can pick up things during the winter time, that’s part of the equation as well as trying to keep people injury-free.

“We’ve got to be disciplined over the Christmas period.

“The players need to watch what they’re eating and drinking.”

Aspin isn’t expecting any easy games over the Christmas period, despite Nuneaton’s last away win copming all the way back in February at Lincoln.

He said: “Nuneaton will be a difficult game, they’re fighting for their lives.

“Gateshead are one of the fancied teams and they pass the ball well.

Chester have improved since we played them and have become one of the form teams in the league, so it’s a mix of fixtures.

“We have to focus on our team rather than what record Nuneaton have got.

“I thought we did all right at Torquay without getting any points.

“We played well for a period against Forest Green.

“The impetus is on us at home, we have to be positive, create chances and be looking to win the game.”

Nuneaton captain Gareth Dean is suspended for tomorrow’s clash, but Town will have Matt Pearson available again after serving a three-game ban.

Nuneaton have only won once in their last 13 games, while they have scored the fewest and conceded the most on their travels in the division.

QPR and Blackpool are the only other teams in the top-five divisions yet to win away from home this season, with Liam Daish’s side keeping only one clean sheet in their last 20 games.

They have gone 20 away games without winning in all competitions, with their last away win coming all the way back in February at Lincoln.

Midfielder Lee Fowler is the only Nuneaton player to have scored more than twice this season.

Only Macclesfield have won more home games than Halifax in the Conference Premier, with only Barnet scoring more goals on their own patch than the Shaymen.

Follow Halifax Town reporter Tom Scargill on Twitter for live updates throughout every Shaymen match - and check for reports after the game.