Captain poised to make Whitby comeback
Skipper Russell Cooke is poised to make a welcome return to our squad for the FA Trophy tie at Whitby Town, manager Kevin Wilson has confirmed.
The central defender (pictured) came through training last night ‘in good shape’, having been out of action with a thigh injury since limping off at Chorley on September 1.
That’s come as a relief to Wilson, who admits the calming influence and know-how of one of his most seasoned campaigners has been sorely missed.
“It’s looking like Cookey could be available, which is a big plus, because you are always going to miss players of his experience,” he said.
“It’s just been an unfortunate one. He missed a couple of games with a dead and then it has turned into more of a strain, making it a bit of a long, drawn-out procedure.
“You have to get on with it, of course, but we’re pleased to have him back and hopefully he can get some minutes under his belt at Whitby.
“It’s the first time in a long time that I’ve got a nearly full-strength squad available to choose from, but that’s not an excuse because we have had enough good players in our squad to have won a lot more games.
“I said it at times last season, and it’s been true this season as well, that we have not been ruthless enough in both boxes.”
We make the long trip to the Turnbull Ground without Aaron Hooton, who is away on holiday, Jordan Smith, who is cup tied, and Alex Ford and Andrew Osei-Siribour, who finish their respective loans at Hucknall Town and Belper Town respectively this weekend.
It has not been an ideal start to the League campaign for either us or Whitby, but Wilson is hoping a victory in North Yorkshire can be the start of an upturn in our fortunes.
He said: “The FA Trophy is the FA Cup of the non-league football and there is plenty of revenue to be had, so we want to be progressing.
“I also want to make sure we are still in this League next year and we have to start doing something about that. After 10 games last year we had 21 points, so we are clearly not where we want to be.
“When things are not going well, the blame is apportioned here, there and everywhere, but I took the plaudits last year and I will take the criticism now and back myself to get it right.
“From the players’ point of view, part of it has been a confidence thing, but if they can put into practice what we have been doing in training then the good results will come.”
• An under-23 side will play Leeds University tomorrow with a number of the first year Academy players likely to feature.