Lancaster City boss Darren Peacock is nursing a mounting injury list ahead of his side’s big FA Cup tie at FC United on Saturday.
The head coach saw a patched-up side twice lose a two-goal lead as the drew 3-3 with Evo-Stik First Division North bottom side Padiham at Giant Axe on Tuesday night.
Peacock is particularly light in defence with captain Neil Marshall, who was always due to be on holiday this weekend, nursing a knee problem, Rob Henry still returning to fitness while Jacob Davis also limped off in the draw on Tuesday.
Ryan Elderton missed the game through work commitments but is expected to be available for the second qualifying round tie on Saturday with Gavin Clark also unavailable in recent weeks.
The Blues boss revealed he is working hard to strengthen his squad but new recruits are unlikely before the weekend.
Peacock said: “We need to make some signings.
“Since the start of the season we’ve been in a situation where players have been in and out with injury and work commitments and the squad isn’t big enough to cope.
“We spoke to players over the summer who might be available now. We at least need to bring in some cover. We’re putting square pegs in round holes and it’s frustrating.”
As for the task in hand, Peacock is hoping his young side relish the challenge at Stalybridge’s Bower Fold home with FC United’s crowds in the Evo-Stik Premier Division touching the 2,000 mark.
He said: “They’ve picked up in the last couple weeks but I know if we can cut out the mistakes then we can beat anyone on our day.
“I’m confident we can go there and get a result.
“The size of the crowd is going to be something most of the players haven’t played in front of before and it will be good to see how they react, if they go into their shell or thrive on it.”
Peacock’s reference to mistakes comes after en error-strewn end to the draw with Padiham as City shipped two goals in stoppage time when leading 3-1.
He said: “We worked so hard but again glaring individual mistakes when we’re trying to see a game out have cost us.
“When you’re leading 2-0 or 3-1 you’ve got to keep the ball or if worse comes to worst then you put it in the corner and push out or even put it in the stands.
“But after missing a lot of chances we made silly runs and didn’t defend well enough.
“Yes we had a few missing but no disrespect to Padiham we should have had enough to win the game.
“It should have been dead and buried after 60 minutes. We’ve got young players in the team but they’re going to have to learn pretty quickly.
“We can’t be giving away goals like we did.”
Clitheroe are due to visit Giant Axe in the first round of the Lancashire FA Challenge Trophy on Tuesday, September 30, in a 7.45pm kick-off.
If Saturday’s FA Cup tie is a draw however the replay will take precedence over the county cup clash.
The club are running a coach to the FC United game, call 01524 382238 to book your place.