With a tiny and youthful squad from which to select his teams, Coventry City manager Andy Thorn has just found his job a bit harder with the news that another three of his players are nursing injuries.
Strikers Gary McSheffrey and Roy O'Donovan along with goal keeper Joe Murphy are all on the treatment bench struggling to be fit in time for Saturday's home game against Nottingham Forest.
McSheffrey has a back strain, Murphy has not yet recovered from the groin strain picked up against Derby and tweaked again at Barnsley. O'Donovan has a sore foot.
They join captain Sammy Clingan who injured his back during the Euro 2021 qualifying game between Northern Ireland and Estonia and defender Martin Cranie, who has damaged ribs.
All five players are rated as doubtful for Saturday, but as ever, the City boss Andy Thorn remains upbeat and positive, despite needing treatment himself after over exerting himself during training at Ryton yesterday.
Thorn told the CT, “It’s touch and go with all of them, which isn’t too helpful.
"They’ll all be having late fitness tests on Thursday and Friday and some on Saturday, but they could go either way so it’s a case of all hands to the pump, but whoever we have out there, we won’t change the way we play.”
If Murphy fails his fitness test then Chris Dunn will take his place with under 18 'keeper Lee Burge on the bench as cover.
Thorn will be able to select Richard Wood, who has recovered from his injury trouble and played the whole game and scored the opening goal in the 2-2 reserves friendly at Ryton against neighbours Northampton Town yesterday. Shaun Jeffers scored City's second goal.
James McPake also played a full 90 minutes in the same game, but he still lack s full fitness and may only be fit for a place on the bench. Ne boy Cody McDonald was another who played as he continues to strive to reach peak fitness and may play on Saturday.
Thorn said, “Woody did well in the reserves and scored from a header. He’s a goal threat and got a bit of experience, so it will be good to have him available. He’s been unlucky with injuries and is champing at the bit after recovering from the thigh injury he suffered at Bury in the Cup.”
“We trained well yesterday and we know we have to put the Barnsley performance in the past and move on. There is a good buzz again and the lads are all looking forward to Saturday, especially at home where the fans have been good for us.”
Thorn managed to injured himself during the training when he partnered defender Richard Keogh and in typical Thorn mode, he joked, “The way me and Keogh produced in training I could be his new partner.
“I put one past Danny Ireland, right foot, top corner! I was asking everyone where the goal scorers’ lounge was when we finished.
“I rolled back the years in a little competition we had at the end and then I had to go and have some treatment on my thigh which I hurt drilling one in, but it was worth it because I got the Champagne!”