Daunting trip not helped by injury problems for Lowestoft Town
- Credit: Richard Land/Focus Images Ltd
Lowestoft Town face an injury crisis ahead of their trip to Barrow.
The Blues could be without four regular first teamers in the form of Chris Henderson (hamstring), Rossi Jarvis (hamstring), Ashlee Jones (hamstring) and Curtis Haynes-Brown (back) for their 652-mile round trip to Cumbria.
It means Lowestoft's resources will be severely tested as they go in search of their first away win of the season although Robert Eagle will come back into consideration after completing a three-match ban for his sending off at Worcester.
Aside from the club's injury problems, director of football Craig Fleming admitted the Blues' preparation for away games has been far from ideal so far this campaign.
'The travelling is a massive problem,' said the former Norwich City defender.
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'We are doing an overnight stop otherwise we would have to leave at about 3am. The difficulty for the lads though is that some of them struggle to get the time off work on a Friday to allow us to travel.
'We're staying about 90 minutes from Barrow so we will do a bit of travelling on the day as well.
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'The preparation is not ideal and yes, of course it is having an effect on our away form – that's not making an excuse, it's just a fact. If your preparation is not right then it will have an effect on the players.'
Away trips don't come any tougher in the Conference North than Barrow, who have won all of their five home games this season and sit second – two points behind early pacesetters AFC Fylde having played one fixture less.
They are among the favourites for promotion to the Conference and the Trawlerboys' chiefs is sure his players will be relishing the test that is in front of them.
'They are one of the biggest spenders in the league,' said Fleming.
'They've got some very good players as well and they are really having a go at getting promotion this season. But we're used to coming up against these sorts of challenges and the lads don't shy away from it.'
Lowestoft will at least go into the match at Barrow in good heart after eventually sealing their passage into the third qualifying round of the FA Cup thanks to a 5-0 win over Coalville in a replay.
'The win helped restore a bit of confidence because we weren't great on Saturday,' Fleming added.
'But it's good for the lads to get a few goals because it's perhaps something we've been lacking a bit so far.'
One man who can help in that department is Jake Reed with the striker available to make his first start since returning to the club from Sudbury.
Bradley Woods-Garness could also come into consideration despite the striker experiencing a build-up of fluid on his knee after his substitute appearance against Coalville in midweek.
New signing Jacek Zielonka, a Polish striker who is friends with Blues' midfielder Dawid Radomski, is also available.
The 27-year-old has received international clearance after a trial spell at Crown Meadow and has now signed papers to play for the Trawlerboys.