Injuries Wreck Tigers Plans

Last updated : 09 March 2002 By Andy Beill
Gary Bradshaw, who scored his first ever senior goal in the romp against Mansfield, was substituted during that game with a back injury. He isn't expected to recover in time for tomorrow's match, so either Rodney Rowe or Lawrie Dudfield will be recalled to partner Gary Alexander.

Ryan Williams is definitely out through suspension after seeing red against Macclesfield two weeks ago. He will also miss the Oxford game.

Lee Philpott, Richard Sneekes and Julian Johnsson are all touch and go, and their fitness will be assessed in the morning.

Philpott struggled out of the Mansfield match after receiving a whack to the ankle. David Beresford is ready to come in for him on left wing.

Sneekes has been unwell all week, and could only manage 45 minutes on Tuesday night. David Norris could make his full debut after coming off the bench and scoring, or Theo Whitmore could play.

Johnsson managed to train yesterday but is being troubled by a leg injury. Mark Greaves may be pushed forward to midfield, or Jason Van Blerk could come in after finishing his suspension.

Caretaker manager Billy Russell said: "At the moment it's impossible to say who will be fit. Obviously, we're hoping only Ryan will be missing because we don't want to make too many changes from the other night.
"The injured lads are all desperate to play. It is a big game - the type of game everyone wants to play in - but we'll just have to see how things work out. A derby is not really the time to start taking gambles but we are in the fortunate position of having players who can cover."

Expected line-up (4-4-2): Musselwhite; Edwards, Whittle, Wicks, Van Blerk; Dudfield, Norris, Greaves, Beresford; Alexander, Rowe.
Subs from: Glennon, Mohan, Goodison, Petty, Holt, Morley, Johnsson, Philpott, Matthews, Sneekes, Whitmore.