Skipper Still Sidelined

Last updated : 07 February 2002 By Andy Beill
Justin Whittle
Justin Whittle - getting fitness back
The 30-year-old has returned to training after limping off during the Exeter game almost three weeks ago.

However it will probably be another week before the former Stoke centre-back is match-fit.

He said: "I got the all clear to start running yesterday but obviously I'm going to need a time to get my fitness back. It would have been great to have played against Rushden but I can't see me being ready in time.
"Hopefully, I might be okay for the Torquay game but we'll just have to see how the injury stands up to training over the next few days. It's been fine so far."

Mark Greaves and Matt Wicks are expected to lead the line for a third time against Rushden & Diamonds in Whittle's absence.

The Diamonds are a place below City in the table, and can go level on points with us if they win.

They haven't lost at Nene Park since September, with their last six home games bringing them victories. However, their away form has been rather indifferent, losing heavily at Hartlepool and Carlisle recently. Such form is very similar to our own this season, and former Tigers hero Duane Darby is expecting a difficult trip to Boothferry Park.

He said: "It's going to be tough because their home form is awesome at the moment. That has always been the case and they are going to be a very difficult side for us to beat.
"I think it will be a good pitch for us to play on but we have got to go down there with a bit of confidence because we have won three home games on the bounce but we must get our away form sorted out."

Meanwhile City boss Brian Little is cautious of the Diamonds' ability: "Rushden have put together some decent results over the last few weeks so it's going to be another hard game. However, we can't expect any easy matches at this stage of the season."

Remember to check back tomorrow for full team news.