KEVIN KILBANE is ready to reinforce Town’s League I promotion push at Tranmere tomorrow – and manager Lee Clark is delighted.
The evergreen midfielder missed his first game since joining Town on loan from Hull as Notts County were beaten 3-0 last Sunday, but only after providing a pre-match boost by unexpectedly returning from Republic of Ireland duty.
It took a 6.30am flight out of Dublin, where the 34-year-old won his 109th cap in Saturday night’s 2-1 Euro 2012 qualifying win over Macedonia, to get Kilbane to the Galpharm, and Clark said: “It sums up his commitment and drive.
“The first I knew was when I got a text on Sunday morning saying he was on his way back, and while it would have been asking a lot for him to start the Notts game, it was great to have him in the dressing room and then on the bench.”
There’s no doubting Kilbane’s freshness this week, and Town could also have Scotland international Gary Naysmith available to face Tranmere, depending on a fitness test on his knee.
“Gary has made good progress, and if he doesn’t figure over at Tranmere, he’ll definitely be okay for Peterborough (at home a week tomorrow).”
Second-placed Town, unbeaten in 18 league games, are chasing a sixth win in eight over at Prenton Park, where they won 2-0 in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy in December.
Rovers are desperate for points as they bid to get away from the danger zone and Clark warned: “We’re confident but not complacent, because they are well organised and committed.”