Harrogate Town Manager Reveals Fresh Injury Concerns

Harrogate Town manager Simon Weaver has confirmed that Derrick Abu and Stephen Dooley will be assessed before tomorrow night’s trip to Mansfield Town.

The Sulphurites have been one of the surprise packages in League Two this season, with Saturday’s 1-0 win over Colchester United seeing them move into the final play-off place.

It’s a far cry from the beginning of the campaign, when many tipped the Yorkshire outfit for relegation. That prediction looked warranted after they lost five of their first seven fixtures, but they have won seven of their last 10 to add their name to the list of promotion contenders.

Despite losing key players Luke Armstrong and Kayne Ramsay to Carlisle United and Charlton Athletic respectively during the recent transfer window, form hasn’t tailed off and they also earned an impressive draw away at leaders Stockport County at the beginning of the month.

Weaver has also had to contend with long-term injuries to first team regulars Mark Oxley and Rod McDonald, but may have a couple more concerns to deal with for the trip to Field Mill tomorrow night. Speaking ahead of the game, the 46-year-old confirmed that Derrick Abu and Stephen Dooley are both doubts.

“There’s a couple of checks, one’s on Derrek (Abu), right back. He took a blow, so we’ll have to assess him. 

“I believe there is Dools (Stephen Dooley) as well. We’re just checking on him. I’m hoping they’re both going to be okay.”

Continuing, Weaver pointed out that his team have coped in similar circumstances in recent weeks:

“They are important players. They’ll be a loss. But still, we’ve left players out recently.

“They’ve been tough decisions. So, the margins are fine between starting and not starting because of the quality we have.”

Abu joined Harrogate on a loan deal on transfer deadline day from Championship promotion-chasers Southampton and has started the previous two fixtures. Dooley has had his fair share of injury concerns and missed a year of action with a hernia and severe inflammatory pelvic condition. He returned to league action in November and has made 15 appearances in all competitions this season.

Writer’s View

Mansfield is not a place anyone wants to visit when they are missing any first team players, especially with the Stags pushing hard for the title. However, Weaver will be confident he has able bodies he can draft in if either or both are ruled out of the clash.

It sounds like neither are under threat of any lengthy spell on the sidelines, although with the Sulphurites keen to achieve a League Two play-off place for the first time in their history, supporters will be eagerly awaiting news of tomorrow’s team to see if the duo are named in the matchday squad.

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