LEE CLARK hopes to be able to select from a fully-available squad when Town host Carlisle on Saturday.
The manager is optimistic that on-loan Liverpool striker Nathan Eccleston (gashed knee), wideman Anthony Pilkington (hamstring) and midfielder Michael Collins (ankle) will all have recovered from injuries.
Meanwhile striker Theo Robinson, left out of Saturday’s encouraging 1-0 win at Yeovil as punishment for turning up late for a training session last Thursday, was due to report to the Galpharm as normal this morning.
Eccleston, who grabbed a Town debut winner in the 23rd minute at Yeovil, needed stitches after he was accidentally bitten by an opponent with 61 minutes gone.
Pilkington and Collins were both left out of the trip to Somerset, with Clark explaining: “No way did I want to risk Anthony, while Michael was ruled out after twisting an ankle with nobody near him on the training ground. Hopefully both of them will be available against Carlisle, and with Theo, as far as I’m concerned, the slate is wiped clean.”
Clark, who hasn’t ruled out doing more business before the closure of the transfer window at 5.00 this afternoon, gave debuts to Australian international left-back Dean Heffernan and on-loan Preston centre-back Neal Trotman as well as Eccleston.
Krystian Pearce, the centre-back signed from Premier League Birmingham, was on the bench as Town stayed seventh.
“I’m delighted with the win at Yeovil, because that was what an away performance should be like,” said the manager.
“The least required to pick up points away from home is determination, grit, desire and application from every individual, and that is what I got.”
Click below for a picture gallery of Saturday's action, including shots of new boys Heffernan, Trotman and goal scorer Nathan Eccleston.Related content
Heffernan’s international clearance didn’t come through until the morning of the game, and Clark explained: “It was calculated gamble playing him.
“He’s had a tough time adjusting to the different time zone – he’s been waking up at four in the morning, although he slept through to seven on Saturday – but I wanted to get him involved as soon as possible.
“I thought he looked stronger and stronger as the game went on and he certainly contributed to our victory and clean sheet.
“I thought Neal Trotman looked an accomplished defender. He headed and tackled everything that came his way, and when he had a bit of time, passed well.
“As for Nathan Eccleston, I don’t think he could have done better. He scored the winner, looked very bright and linked up well with Jordan Rhodes.
“The gash on his knee was a disappointment, and by the time it was sorted out, we thought it was the right time to get Lee Novak’s fresh legs on.”