Injury crisis faces Keith ahead of crucial home game

Last updated : 14 January 2005 By Gary Hutchinson
Set toi replace Big Ben?
In addition to Ben Futcher, strikers
Definately out - Futch
Simon Yeo (cheekbone) and Martin Carruthers (hamstring), and on-loan defender Nathan Peat (who underwent a cartilage operation this week) are on the sidelines for tomorrow's home match against Bristol Rovers (3pm).

It also seems highly likely that skilfull midfielder Peter Gain will continue to miss out having not played since the home game with Cheltenham Town on December 11 after straining medial knee ligaments.

The good news is defender Gareth McAuley could return after being out of action for almost a month with a calf strain and he would be an obvious replacement for Futcher having successfully come through an hour of Monday's reserve game at York.

Utility player Michael Blackwood could also push for a start after playing the full 90 minutes at Bootham Crescent. He hasn't played since the 2-1 home defeat by Notts County in August.

Keith will be looking for a positive response from his players despite the depleted squad followng last weeks miserable defeat at Kidderminster.

"There wasn't a problem with the effort and commitment, but certain aspects of our game weren't as they should have been," conceded the City boss. "We didn't pass the ball well and didn't defend as we should have done.

"We have the players in this squad to go out and do a job - and that's exactly what I need them to do tomorrow."
Still missing - Carruthers

Blackwood - Set for return?