TOWN manager Lee Clark will “wait until the last minute” to decide on whether to include Lionel Ainsworth against Tranmere tomorrow.
The 21-year-old wingman is training again with Clark’s League I squad after being charged with affray by police in Nottingham following incidents last week.
January signing Ainsworth missed the midweek 1-1 draw at MK Dons after previously being a regular, and the Galpharm boss will now give him every opportunity to prove he is ready for a recall at Prenton Park (3.00).
“Lionel is back with us and he is available for the game,” said Clark, who also has midfielder Jim Goodwin back after a two-match ban.
“We will see how Lionel trains, monitor the situation and weigh things up.
“It’s a matter of waiting right until the last minute to make a decision.”
Former Watford player Ainsworth, who scored three times on loan for Hereford this season, has made eight appearances for the Galpharm club so far and Clark is keen to consider all his options for tomorrow, after watching Tranmere beat leaders Leicester 2-0 on Wednesday night.
“Tranmere are very competitive and energetic and it will be a tough game, but we played very well ourselves at MK Dons and it’s important we re-produce that level of performance tomorrow,” explained Clark, who is again without injured duo Nathan Clarke and Danny Cadamarteri.
“We haven’t had the rub of the green in recent games and it would be nice for that to turn around, but I’ve told the lads we can’t afford to feel sorry for ourselves.
“There is no way we are going to give up on the play-offs until the mathematics tell us we can’t make sixth place, and it’s also important for players to put down markers for the future.
“They are playing for their futures. If for one reason or another we don’t get the success we want this season, it will happen in the not-too-distant future and people are playing to be a part of that, so they have to produce consistency and a high level of performance on a regular basis.”
Tranmere have striker Ian Moore back in contention after he missed the win over Leicester, which took their unbeaten home record to nine matches.
Town haven’t won at Prenton in a decade, but three points tomorrow would put them back within three points of the Merseyside outfit.
Referee Andy Haines has officiated Town twice this season, both being wins against Bradford and Walsall.