Alex Morris is confident he will be able to name a more experienced substitutes’ bench over the next couple of weeks.
While Crewe Alexandra have a number of exciting and talented youngsters currently on the fringes of the first team, the manager has felt he has been short of tried-and-tested options on the bench lately.
Now striker Christopher Long, who got his first action of the season as a sub in the 2-1 loss to Stevenage last weekend, is closing in on more minutes.
Defender Rio Adebisi, who is yet to play this year after suffering a foot injury, is in contention to be part of the squad for Saturday’s trip to Grimsby Town (3pm).
And loan forward Lachlan Brook (ankle) is also on the brink of a return.
Morris said: “In truth we didn’t bargain to play Chris even for 20 minutes against Stevenage, he wasn’t really at the stage where he could manage it. But we were 2-1 down and we wanted to try.
“He’ll have a full week of training this week and he will be much further along the road this weekend.
“We are hopeful that Lachlan will be available for the following Saturday because he is coming along really quickly, and I hope there will be some good news about Rio Adebisi as we move on to Saturday.”
The gaffer, who is also without longer-term absentee Charlie Colkett (hamstring), is keeping his fingers crossed that his squad will stay in good health now.
He added: “The bench will look very strong compared to what we have had recently, over the next couple of weeks.
“Success is never just built on a starting 11, it can’t be because of the volume of games you have to withstand.
“It’ll be good to have them back and we will keep our fingers crossed we don’t lose any more to injury. We need to keep the squad as fit and healthy as we can.”