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Club News

Late Tests For Duo

25 November 2013

Manager Simon Grayson says that skipper John Welsh and Tom Clarke will be given as long as possible to be ready for Tuesday’s trip to Vale Park.

Both were withdrawn in the latter stages of Saturday’s one-sided draw with Colchester through injury and the manager has admitted that he will wait until the last minute to make a decision on their availability to face Micky Adams’ in form side.

“John Welsh took a knock, as did Tom Clarke,” the gaffer told the pre-match press conference. “We assessed them on Sunday morning and we will assess them again today [Monday]. 

“It is a quick turnaround, which doesn’t give you us too much time to get them fit, but the signs are encouraging. 

“We will leave it as late as we can to try and make sure the pair of them are available.”

The opposition have won five of their last six games and sit just one point outside the Play-Off places at present, so it will be a tough test for the Lilywhutes, something Grayson is well aware of.

“They are doing well,” he continued. “They are a point outside the Play-Offs and they got a good victory in a derby game at the weekend. I know how Micky Adams’ team works and we are in for a tough game.

“It’s a big pitch and hopefully that will benefit us. We should be able to get our passing game going again, like we did at the weekend and hopefully we can get another win.

“Promoted teams settle well the following season. The momentum they carry forward helps and Rotherham, Bradford and Port Vale are all up there, because they have a winning mentality and have a group that hasn’t changed too much.

“They have some threats and we are respectful of them, but hopefully we can put on another performance like we did at Orient last weekend and get another away win.”

One player who looks set to retain his place in the side is Neil Kilkenny, who impressed on his debut at the weekend: “I brought Neil in because I know what he is capable of doing. 

“He wants to get on the ball and keep the game ticking over. It might be a five or ten yard pass and then get it back again and then maybe a longer one – he has that in his repertoire.

“I was delighted with how he did and the best thing was that he lasted 90 minutes. I thought he might have flagged after 70 or so, because of the lack of games he’s had. 

“But he’s a good pro, has kept himself fit and showed what he is capable of doing. We also think he will get better and impact games for us,” he added.

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