THREE weeks without football have enabled key Chelmsford City players to recover from minor injuries, but manager Glenn Pennyfather still has to monitor the condition of central midfielder Max Cornhill and centre half Adam Tann ahead of Saturday’s game at home to Havant & Waterlooville.
Despite the lay-off, Pennyfather has fitness tests to arrange ahead of Saturday’s 3pm kick-off as youngster Cornhill battles to be fit following a muscle strain.
Meanwhile, Tann also suffered a recurrence of his previous problems during training on Monday night, meaning the imminent return of Mark Haines from his loan spell at Bishop’s Stortford after Saturday’s game couldn’t be better timed.
“It’s mostly our injured players who’ve benefited most from the extra two weeks off, and Justin Miller and Kenny Clark have been able to shake off knocks during that fortnight,” Glenn revealed.
“On the other side of things it’s been two more weeks added to Sam Corcoran’s time off after suspension but he’s been looking after himself at the club and away from it as he’s hungry to get back out on that pitch again.”
“Hainesy will be welcomed back and the scheduling is convenient on this occasion. Tanny first got injured just after Mark’s loan spell started which was a blow at the time.
"Now, If Hainesy plays on Saturday, that will have been three games he’s got under his belt. It’s a shame that, with the weather, he hasn’t had more but he’ll have recharged his batteries ready to fight for his place.”
Glenn still has an eye on squad additions, a situation he constantly monitors, but he agrees the possible home debuts of forwards Chris Bryan and Alex Osborn will seem like new signings, adding: “Chris hasn’t been well but he’s fine now and Alex is also looking sharp. Tonight [Thursday] was the first time we’ve been able to get back out training on the grass after all the snow and their legs have been relishing it.”
The Hawks find themselves in 16th position in the Blue Square Bet South table, having won just a pair of their twelve away games so far, and two of their last ten overall.
Their last competitive game ended in a 3-2 defeat at a rejuvenated Eastleigh on 7th February but they did manage to fit in a midweek home friendly with AFC Wimbledon, which Glenn thinks might have given them an advantage.
He continued: “They’ve not had as much snow down there - it’s been mostly frost - so they’ve had a game to put themselves a little ahead of us.
"At the start of each season everyone expects Havant to do well and they’re mooted as one of the favourites, and rightly so as they’ve got a good side.
"But if we want to do well then these are the type of games we’ve got to win. Our mindset has to be spot-on.”