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Artell Hopeful Of Having More Firepower Back For Gillingham Game

15 December 2021

David Artell is hopeful of having some of his players returning from illness and injury for this weekend’s trip to Gillingham. The Alex boss is expecting players to return to training before the end of the week and declare themselves available and in contention for another crunch match at the Priestfield Stadium.

Artell has had to alter his planning late on for our last two fixtures against Lincoln City and Sheffield Wednesday, especially in forward areas with players either falling ill on the eve of the game, forced to self-isolate or suffer a late injury in training.

A frustrated Artell said: “Hopefully, we will have one or two back for Saturday. I am sure they will be fine but they have still missed some training sessions and it is never ideal.

“We have a couple out ill that is not Covid related and you are never sure what condition they will return to training in. We lost Ben Knight last Friday when he was all set to play Saturday, so we had to change personnel and the shape and formation because of his absence.

“It is just one of those things and you just have to get on with it. There is nothing you can do if someone falls ill or they get injured in the final training session before a game. It has happened to us over the last two games but that is life and the fact of the matter.

“You just have to suck it up and get on with things. I think the players deserve credit for the way they handled in on Saturday against Sheffield Wednesday. We had to change a lot of things on the morning of the game and show them clips of what we needed them to do in the game at 1pm.

“They took that on board and we were competitive on the day. I think it was those fine margins in the end that decided the outcome and I thought we gave it a real go against one of the top teams in the division.”

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