PETER Taylor has backed his Wanderers squad to shrug off their injury crisis and nail an automatic promotion spot.
The Blues’ hopes of securing a top three finish in Coca-Cola League Two were rocked after it emerged that leading scorers Matt Harrold and Chris Zebroski could both be out for the rest of the season.
Top scorer Harrold turned his ankle during Saturday’s 1-0 victory over promotion rivals Gillingham.
And Zebroski — who has hit seven goals this season — limped out of the action during Monday’s 1-0 defeat at second-placed Exeter City with a hamstring injury.
Boss Taylor, whose side face Aldershot Town at Adams Park tomorrow afternoon, said: “It is a blow and it will be a close call whether we will get them back before the end of the season.
“It’s disappointing but we have to get on with it and if they are not playing it gives other people an opportunity.”
He is confident that his squad has still got more than enough firepower in its arsenal to secure an automatic promotion spot.
On loan John Akinde has rattled in five goals in seven appearances since his switch from Bristol City, while Jon-Paul Pitman, who came closest to conjuring up an equaliser at Exeter, will now get another chance to build on his impressive sequence of three goals from eight starts.
Stuart Beavon is also fit again, after recovering from a groin operation.
Taylor said: “It is a good chance for them and we have already seen that they can cause teams problems. They are good enough and they have got good, positive things about their game.”
Taylor has so far resisted the temptation to recall last season’s 26-goal top-scorer Scott McGleish from his loan at Leyton Orient.
He says he will keep that option up his sleeve with four games remaining.
Meanwhile, Blues will be keeping their fingers crossed that keeper Jamie Young comes through the run-in unscathed – with Marek Stech returning to West Ham for treatment on a groin and hip injury he sustained on the training field.
The Czech U21 international’s return to Upton Park means that Wanderers only have Ashlee Jones as cover and he has still to make an appearance in the Football League.