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Players return for the assault
10:00am Friday 6th April 2012 in Sport By Steve Carley - Midlands Sports Journalist of the Year 2013, @stevecarleyWN
WORCESTER City hope to have a clean bill of health as they begin their final assault on the Blue Square Bet North play-off places.
Following a mini injury-crisis in recent days, manager Carl Heeley is confident everyone will be fit for tomorrow’s clash against basement boys Eastwood Town at St George’s Lane (3pm).
Flying winger Greg Mills (hamstring) and striker Michael Taylor (ankle) are both set to be in contention after missing last Saturday’s 2-0 victory at Harrogate Town.
Captain Kevin O’Connor should return to the line-up after a two-game suspension, despite Matt Birley and Rob Elvins starring in the wins at Boston United and Harrogate.
Centre-half Stuart Whitehead has shaken off an ankle knock, while the versatile Tyler Weir and Dwayne Samuels both featured in Tuesday’s 1-0 Worcestershire FA Senior Cup semi-final defeat at Stourbridge.
The only doubt is forward Danny Carey-Bertram, who was sent home on Tuesday with a sickness bug.
Unlike recent matches, Heeley has plenty of options as he attempts to secure three more vital points in the quest for the top five.
Following Nuneaton Town’s six-point deduction which is still to be ratified, City are effectively just two points shy and Stalybridge Celtic, the team above them, host play-off rivals Halifax tonight.
Heeley is aware of the opportunity for his team but also knows Eastwood, 10 points adrift at the bottom, will not have read the script after winning 2-1 at title-hopefuls Guiseley in February.
“We will not be taking Eastwood lightly and won’t be complacent,” he said.
“They have had a terrible season but, not many weeks ago, they won at Guiseley.
“That was a major shock but shows they are capable and we will prepare correctly.
“There can be no slip-ups from us because each game we play will get bigger.”
City, who won 1-0 at Eastwood at the end of August with a last-gasp Luke Corbett strike, also hope their play-off push will draw a bumper attendance to St George’s Lane.
Although they lost 2-0 to Droylsden in front of 895 last month, a gate swelled by the victory against Gainsborough, that was their only league defeat since mid-January.
Heeley added: “Hopefully, the crowd will come out and see us because it’s been a long time since they have had the opportunity to see a team in with a chance of achieving something.”
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