THERE’S plenty more to come from Simon Church.
That’s the view of Huddersfield Town coach Glynn Snodin as the on-loan Reading striker prepares to play his sixth successive game since heading North from Berkshire when Bolton visit the John Smith’s Stadium for tomorrow’s Championship clash.
Church has enjoyed just the one win in Town colours – he supplied the cross for currently sidelined frontman Jermaine Beckford to seal the 1-0 triumph and Barnsley – and scored just the one goal, in the 2-1 home defeat by Brighton.
After a run of one point from 12, which has left Town 15th, beating Bolton would be a big boost all round, and Snodin said of Welsh international Church: “He’s been playing catch-up, but he’s working very, very hard to get up to full speed.”
While he has turned out four times for Wales, taking his caps tally to 19, the 23-year-old has played just once for Reading this term, and Snodin explained: “Churchy is absolutely desperate to play games and do well for us.
“That lack of match action earlier in the season had its effect, but we’re getting closer in terms of fitness and sharpness, and there’s no doubting his quality as well as his workrate. I think he’ll prove a very useful acquisition.”
While Church’s original loan expired after tomorrow’s match, Town last month agreed an extension through to December 31, and Snodin added: “We have a busy spell coming up, and Churchy has a real opportunity.”
James Vaughan, on a season-long loan from Norwich, is in line to make his first start in nine games against 18th-placed Wanderers, who were relegated from the Premier League last season and following a sluggish start in the second tier, have picked up since Dougie Freedman replaced Owen Coyle as manager.
Last Saturday’s 2-1 home defeat by Ipswich was a first loss in seven games at the helm for the ex-Crystal Palace chief.
Vaughan, sidelined by a thigh problem, made his comeback from the bench in last Saturday’s 4-2 home loss to Leeds and is looking to build on his record of three goals in nine outings after coming through a full week of training without any reaction.
Town also have Alan Lee, who made his first start of the season against Leeds, and Lee Novak in the mix, but Keith Southern remains sidelined as he completes a three-match suspension.
Grayson will check on the fitness of versatile defender Joel Lynch, forced off against Leeds by a hamstring niggle, as Town prepare for a potential reunion with Benik Afobe.
The Arsenal frontman, now 19, played 35 times for Town, scoring eight goals, in the 2010-11 season, and has figured 16 times, scoring twice, since being borrowed by Bolton.
The England Under 21 man had a spell playing alongside Church at Reading last season.
He’s one of four loan men currently on the books at Bolton alongside Aston Villa full-back Stephen Warnock and midfield duo Jay Spearing (Liverpool) and former Barnsley player Jacob Butterfield (Norwich).
Town’s Danny Ward spent two seasons at Bolton between 2009-11 but made only two substitute appearances, both in the Premier League.
Tomorrow’s match will be refereed by Tyne and Wear whistler Eddie Ilderton.