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Jack Ross’ side face second-placed Peterborough United this week in a huge match that could go some way to shaping their title credentials.
They’re currently four points behind Steve Evans’ pace-setters, so a result in either direction would be significant. Win, and they’re just one point away and still in touch. Lose, and the gap is a whopping seven points after less than quarter of the season.
Loovens and Hume were both forced off during the opening 25 minutes against Coventry City, while Gooch played through the pain late on after picking up a hamstring injury.
Their task isn’t going to be made any easier by the fact they’re likely to be missing four key players for the match at the Stadium of Light. The Shields Gazette report that as well as long-term absentee Charlie Wyke, there’s also huge doubts around Glenn Loovens, Denver Hume and Lynden Gooch.
In addition to this, Lee Cattermole has already accumulated five yellow cards and he too will miss the game by way of a one-match ban.
Loovens and Hume were both taken off in the first half against Coventry, the former lasting just four minutes of the clash. Hume lasted slightly longer, but was still withdrawn before half time with a knee injury.
Midfielder Gooch completed 90 minutes, but was clearly suffering a she came off the field at the end with Ross praising his character post match,
The American isnt expected to be out for too long, though, with Lee Cattermole also to miss out on Tuesday in order to serve a one-match ban.
“Lynden, it is his hamstring. It is whether it is a muscular problem or fatigue. We hope it is the latter, it is more likely the former. It was a big risk leaving him on the pitch but it is testament to his character and the character of the lads to see out the game in effect with ten men.”
Just as they face their biggest match of the season, disaster sets in. Hume isn’t a huge issue, Oviedo can fill in there and perhaps there’s players to cover Gooch, even though he’s been superb.
Loovens will be a big miss, his organisation has been superb and he’s formed a great partnership with Jack Baldwin. As for Cattermole, ten games and five bookings? Some things never change.
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