DESPERATE duo Luke Beckett and Jon Worthington are both optimistic about their chances of being fit to face Chelsea tomorrow.
But the Town pair say they will pull out of FA Cup fifth-round contention if they aren’t fully recovered from back and hamstring problems respectively.
Top scorer Beckett has become Town’s cup talisman this season, scoring in all four rounds so far to help take his tally to nine.
And skipper Worthington, who will also have a fitness test, has been central to the recent improved form of Andy Ritchie’s side, who had won four on the trot before Tuesday’s 2-1 League I loss at Carlisle.
Both players missed that match, Worthington having pulled up during the 1-0 home win over Swindon and Beckett aggravating a back niggle during the journey up the M6.
“It was bad enough missing the Carlisle match, and I certainly don’t want to be sitting in the stand tomorrow,” said Beckett looking forward to the sell-out last 16 clash for which Town fans have snapped up the 6,126 tickets available.
“My back’s never been a problem really, but I’ve had a nagging little ache over the last month or so and I felt it tighten up on Tuesday.
“I was hopeful of running it off when we got to the ground, but when I went out for the warm-up, I realised I wasn’t going to make it.
“It’s felt a lot better over the last few days, and I had a session on the bike in the gym yesterday with a view to training today.
“Hopefully all will be okay and I’ll be able to make myself available. I’d love to be involved, but if I’m not right I’ll be honest and say so.”
Worthington, who missed out on the third-round tie at Stamford Bridge two seasons ago through suspension, echoed those sentiments.
“I’d be gutted if I don’t play, but you have to look at the bigger picture, said the tough-tackling midfielder.
“We’ve got a busy spell coming up after the Chelsea match, starting at home to Millwall on Tuesday, and having had my fair share of injury problems in recent years, I won’t be risking doing any further damage.
“I don’t want to put the rest of my season in jeopardy, because I really believe we can kick on in the league.”
Town set off for the capital this morning, with Beckett and Worthington due to take part in a work-out at Watford’s training ground this afternoon.
The entire first-team squad travelled, minus teenage centre-back Shane Killock, who has joined Hyde United on a month’s loan.