Spillane return will help Lowestoft Town cope with Ainsley exit

Michael Spillane's return has provided Lowestoft with a timely boost. Picture: MARK CHAPPELL/FOCUS I

Michael Spillane's return has provided Lowestoft with a timely boost. Picture: MARK CHAPPELL/FOCUS IMAGES - Credit: Mark Chappell/Focus Images Ltd

The return of Michael Spillane will go a long way to compensating for the loss of Jack Ainsley, according to Lowestoft Town boss Ady Gallagher.

Spillane has completed his four-match suspension for his red card at Curzon Ashton and will be restored to the centre of the Blues' back four for their trip to Harrogate Town this afternoon. Ainsley, who had been looking to leave the club for several months, was finally granted his wish in midweek when he signed for Leiston for an undisclosed fee.

But Gallagher revealed he had refused to sanction the former Ipswich defender's exit until Spillane had completed his suspension.

'It was about managing the situation so he (Ainsley) could leave at a more convenient time for us,' he said.

'We wanted to get through Micky's suspension before we could let Jack go. Having Micky back gives us a chance to be strong at the back and should allow Rossi Jarvis to go back into midfield as well.'

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Gallagher admitted that despite Ainsley's departure there are no immediate plans to bring in another defender. The Blues chief insisted that the club will continue to cut its cloth accordingly, despite their precarious position in the National League North table.

'We will look at things but financially it's difficult for the club,' he added.

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'The squad is in transition – we are trying to add young players to the squad and we will continue to try and do that. We are searching high and low. The wage bill has been slashed from last year but I'm not going to cry about it. The reality is that we've lost nine players and replaced them with three since the start of the season.

'As much as we want to make progress the reality is that we've got a tougher task than last year.

'That's not getting away from the fact it is my job to make sure that the club survives. We've worked incredibly hard to get to this level and we're determined to stay where we are.'

Ben Killip will be restored to the Blues' starting line-up having re-signed for the club earlier this week on a youth loan until the end of the season. Mark Smith has returned to Brentford after his loan spell at the Meadow ended.

Jake Reed will be missing due to an ankle injury whilst Andrew Fisk is also a doubt having come down with the flu. The good news is the midfielder has recovered from his recent facial injury.

Gallagher added: 'We've done well in a lot of our away games this season and we are going to have to produce again if we are to get anything. Last weekend was disappointing as I feel with a full side out we could have got something from the game, but it's all about how the lads react now.'

With more rain forecast to have fallen overnight, Harrogate have called a pitch inspection for 7am.

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