Hard Knock Life

HAVING led a pretty charmed life as a manager so far, Carl Fletcher is now learning about injuries the hard way.

With Jamie Lowry, Durrell Berry, Rhys Griffiths, Nick Chadwick, Darren Purse, Rene Gilmartin and Paris Cowan-Hall all having missed out on parts on the season so far with niggles, Fletch must now add inspirational midfielder Paul Wotton to the list of walking wounded.

“Wotts has played through the pain barrier with a bad back for the past couple of weeks and it was just one of those things on Saturday,” said Fletch.

“The ball hit him randomly on his leg and just tweaked his groin a little bit.”

“It’s annoying, more than anything.

“Obviously, you want your full squad to pick from for every game you play but that’s not the way it is.

“You’d like to have all of your options and with the injuries it gets less and less but it gives opportunities for others to come in and do well and make it hard for others who are out to get back into the team.”

This season’s spate of injuries is in stark contrast to last season, when Fletch led his men to npower League 2 safety with little more than a few surface wounds.

Carl said:  “Last season, we hardly had any.

“This year, apart from Jamie Lowry, they’re not really long term – just little niggles here and there for a couple or three weeks.

“The first year our new pitch got laid, it was really hard and I think it’s started off the same this year.

“It might just take a little bit of time to soften up and hopefully, with a little bit more rain, it might help out because obviously playing on a hard pitch isn’t ideal because it puts a lot of pressure on your joints.

“It’s just annoying and we’ll try and do everything we can to get them back as soon as possible.”