STAN TERNENT has been forced to make changes for tonight’s big Galpharm Carling Cup clash with Sheffield United (7.45) – but insists the squad is strong enough to take Town into Saturday’s third-round draw.
While midfielder Ian Craney is cup-tied and on-loan striker Liam Dickinson doesn’t have Derby County’s permission to play, centre-back Andy Butler and frontman Andy Booth are both ruled out through injury.
Butler, who has played in all four competitive games since signing, took a knock to his lower back during Saturday’s 3-1 League setback at home to MK Dons and needed a post-match hospital check-up.
And Booth, who came on as a half-time substitute, has had a recurrence of a previous back injury, so won’t be risked.
That means Keigan Parker, former Blade Luke Beckett and Phil Jevons will all be hoping for a cup call-up while Nathan Clarke and David Unsworth, another ex-Bramall Lane player, will be eyeing Butler’s berth.
Ternent, who has also ruled out young midfielder James Berrett because of an ankle injury, is keeping his line-up under wraps, but is expecting a determined response after defeat by the Dons.
While Saturday’s League I hosts Millwall have a blank week after being knocked out by Norwich City, Ternent said: “I’m glad we’ve got the game because it’s a chance to test ourselves against a team from a higher division and it’s an opportunity to bounce back after Saturday.
“We wanted to be in the second round, we wanted a home draw and we’ve got both. Now it’s up to us to play far better than we did against MK Dons.
“We’re missing players, but we’ve got a decent enough squad to play well and get through.”
Sheffield arrive at the Galpharm fifth in the Championship, having netted three times in each of their last three outings and with some suggesting former England striker James Beattie could be given a first run out since recovering from knee surgery.