A plague of injuries has forced Spalding United manager Pat Rayment to shelve plans to jettison some of his star signings.
The treatment table at the Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field is bowing this week under the pressure of midfielders Scott Musgrove and Danny Steadman, striker Ashley Stevens and defenders Glen Fuff and Liam Bull.
It comes on the back of a bruising encounter with Sleaford Town on Tuesday. Sleaford’s Liam Tunstall and Kris Jones were sent off in the Tulips 5-1 win.
Musgrove is the most serious situation. Rayment fears he could be out for up to eight weeks with a strain of a knee medial ligament.
Fuff’s hamstring strain is improving and he’s now rated 50/50 for the UCL trip to Irchester United tomorrow.
Rayment will today be checking on the progress of Stevens (shoulder), Bull (knee) and Steadman (ankle).
Defender Jay Smedley is already sidelined with a long-term injury.
The casualty list means that right now Rayment cannot afford to axe anyone, as he vowed earlier this week.
He said: “It would be foolish of me to let anyone go at this stage. We are where we are.”
And Rayment, who’s determined to lead the club up the non-league ladder, added: “I had a meeting with the players and spelt out what it means to play for the club.
“If it’s just a game of football they’re after, Spalding is not the place to be.”
Although naming no one, Rayment hinted that at least one of the players who had been consistently under-performing in matches is on contract.
That brings with it issues of whether the player(s) are allowed to be on the fringe of the first team and continue to be paid or whether the individual(s) are encouraged to leave and the contract paid up.
The recruitment of midfielder Chris Hall this week was the Tulips’ seventh player on contract. He and fellow new signing Dan Cotton go straight into the team tomorrow.
Meanwhile, ex-Leicester City midfielder Stefan Oakes trained with the Tulips last night and will be back on Tuesday and Thursday next week.
• The Tulips have arranged a friendly at home to Bourne Town on Tuesday (7.45pm).