Shropshire Star

Telford v AFC Sudbury: Bucks plunged into fresh injury crisis after latest win

AFC Telford United have been hit with another injury crisis ahead of this weekend’s Southern Central Premier meeting with AFC Sudbury.

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Tuesday night’s win at Stamford moved the Bucks into fourth place, but the result was overshadowed by four fresh injury concerns on top of Nathan Fox’s absence.

And while the visit of 19th-placed Sudbury is a favourable game on paper, manager Kevin Wilkin is adamant that his side will not have it easy.

“If you look at the bottom of the league, I know we were limited personnel-wise against Berkhamsted but that wasn’t an easy game to come through, and several others have been tough,” Wilkin said. “I never want to look at the league position as a deciding factor in picking a team, I want to understand their strengths and weaknesses but mainly understand what we can do with the players we have available.”

He continued: “I was speaking to Stamford’s manager about Sudbury and his opinion of them is that they’re a capable side on their day.

“They are inconsistent, there’s no doubt about that, but they’re a team to be wary of and are probably better than the league table suggests.”

Sudbury travel to New Bucks Head without a win in seven games, but their last victory was quite the scalp – a 1-0 win over promotion favourites Needham Market.

“If you want to get an indication of how serious we have to take any team at the level, that just proves it,” Wilkin asserted. “They’re very capable on their day and we can’t afford to underestimate them.”

He added: “The moment you think you’ve got it cracked is the moment you fall on your face, and I’ll never take anything for granted.

“You’ve got to be on it for 90 minutes, and if we do that we’ll give ourselves a chance.”

Telford expect to be without four key players on Saturday.

Nathan Fox will definitely miss out with a knee injury. And Wilkin revealed the full extent of the Bucks’ injuries picked up in Lincolnshire on Tuesday evening.

“Ricardo’s (Dinanga) is a tightening of his hamstring, and Remi’s (Walker) is a groin issue,” he explained. “Fraser’s (Kerr) would be the biggest concern at the moment – we obviously lost him late in the game and that’s his groin.”

Wilkin continued: “Add those to losing Nathan and you go from one week of having a full bill of health to potentially four injuries.

“There were one or two others complaining about bumps and bruises, but here’s hoping they’re only minor and they can take the field on Saturday.”

A silver lining for the Bucks is that their strength in depth, which had been missing at times this season, will soften the blow considerably.

“When you have to make two subs at half-time which are enforced, it’s good to turn around and see the options that we had on the bench,” Wilkin admitted. “It’s never good to lose players but encouraging that we have that quality to turn to.”