There was a glimmer of hope for injury-hit Bradford Park Avenue boss John Deacey following the final training session this week with good news regarding two of his star men.
Deacey has had a selection headache over the last couple of weeks but Richard Marshall and Alex Davidson have been responding to treatment.
Deacey said: “Scooby (Marshall) will be fit enough to rejoin the squad for today’s game and Alex has come on a lot better than expected and he will be joining the players for the warm-up. If all goes well he might make the bench for the following Saturday.
“So, we’re lucky. We’ve only got six players out! We want to finish the season well – we don’t just want it to fizzle out. We aim to show the right commitment and attitude and give the fans the football they want to watch.
“We can do that but we need our big-game players. It’s difficult when you are playing with half a squad.
“Our squad isn’t the biggest at the best of times but with James Knowles, Nathan Hotte and Ryan Qualter all suspended and the ridiculous amount of injuries we’ve had it has been hard.
“They have been massive losses to us. Hotte has been carrying an injury for about eight weeks but he just wants to get out there and play. You can’t hold him back – unfortunately not all of our players are like that.”
Avenue want to send their supporters into the summer on the back of some good results and they are desperate to do that after heavy back-to-back defeats.
They both came against teams pushing for the play-offs but a 4-1 loss at Altrincham and a 5-0 reverse at home to Brackley were bitter pills for the fans to swallow.
Deacey said: “Last Saturday’s result was ridiculous – that is something that sticks with you for some time.
“I think it was the worst performance of the season, as at least we were competitive at Altrincham.
“We might have lost but we had a man sent off, had a couple of injuries during the game and let some silly goals in but we competed with a very good Altrincham side.
“Last Saturday was as bad as it gets and the fans, who have been magnificent all season, made their feelings clear.
“I don’t have a problem with that – they had every right to have a go at me and the players after that performance.”