Richard Wilkins admits he is in a quandary with what to do with striker John Sands after the Needham Market player’s injury return suffered another setback.
The former prolific Mildenhall Town and Bury Town frontman made his return to the side a week ago Tuesday in the home defeat to Lowestoft Town, before also coming off the bench in Saturday’s 2-0 Emirates FA Cup Second Qualifying Round win over Chesham United.
But with the Marketmen having struggled with options up front all season — and Wilkins having continually been frustreated in his attmepts to bring cover in — Sands had to be withdrawn at the weekend with a recurring pain from his troublesome foot injury.
“He has nerve damage to the bone in his foot which sends a pain shooting up the shinn and he felt it again on Saturday, so we had to withdraw him after Ryan Gibbs went off with a dead leg,” explained Wilkins.
“The trouble with John’s injury is it’s one of those things we are told could take a while .
“I could just give him a long break or I could see if he can keep going. It is difficult to know what to do with the position we are in.”
While Needham (17th) look set to go into tomorrow’s Bostik League Premier Division game at home to 15th placed Enfield Town (3pm) with just Luke Ingram as a recognised striker, Wilkins revealed summer signing Jamie Grifftihs could feature in a week’s time, as he continues his return from an ACL ligament injury with Needham Market Reserves.
A goal in each half, from Callum Harrison (29’) and Dan Morphew (48’) saw Needham Market through in a pleasing 2-0 victory on Saturday before they were drawn at home to National League South leaders Dartford in the next round a week tomorrow (3pm).
“From our point-of-view the only way it could have got harder was if we got Dartford away,” said Wilkins.
“Hopefully we will rise to the occasion.”
n Three Needham players: Jamie Carragher, George Exworth and Will Wharton-Richardson are all included in the Suffolk FA Under-18s squad, along with Bury Town’s Tommy Robinson, to face Essex at Stanway Rovers on Tuesday (7.30pm).