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Injuries crisis rocks Johnson

by: theterras

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STEVE Johnson plans to hold a roll-call of his walking wounded before injury ravaged Weymouth host Thurrock at the Wessex Stadium tomorrow.

The Terras boss could be without up to nine first team players for the visit of the Conference South high-flyers and plans to delay naming his starting line-up until the last possible moment.

Striker Lee Phillips has been ruled out with a groin injury, while crocked quartet Danny Byrne, Mark Boyce, Kieren Keane and Bernardo Cariata will have late fitness tests.

Definitely out are long-term injury victims Adam Wilde, Dave Waterman, Martin Barlow and Jamie Impey.

Johnson will give debuts to former Anderlecht youngster Ludovic Cadima and Yeovil Town midfield loanee Nicolas Mirza.

And he is hopeful of securing another new player after Aldershot Town utility man Chris Giles turned down a switch to the south coast.

Johnson told Echosport: “The Thurrock game was always going to be a tough game because they are going great guns, but our injury situation makes it even tougher.

“It’s looking like Lee Phillips, who has a groin injury, is definitely going to be out for at least tomorrow and that means our striking options are severely restricted.

“I see new signing Ludovic Cadima primarily as a right winger for us but it may well be that the problems cause me to play him up front tomorrow.

“That wouldn’t be too bad because he has played in that role before during a spell at Bristol City earlier this season.

“I’m keeping my fingers crossed that some of the other injury victims recover between now and tomorrow but the way things are looking, I’m not hopeful.

“I tried to get Chris Giles in from Aldershot but unfortunately he has turned me down.

That’s a shame because he would have been an excellent signing as he can play in either defence or as a striker.”

Johnson added “The injuries are a big blow because we could have done with being at full-strength because this is a massive game for us.

“We’re within touching distance of the play-offs and three points would be a massive boost.

“But whoever does get selected, I’m confident they have enough quality to get a good result.

“Thurrock are a no nonsense, physical, direct team who had a great win against Aldershot in the FA Trophy.

“But they are certainly beatable and Aldershot manager Terry Brown has given me a few tips about them which could come in handy.

“It’ll be nice to a get a big crowd at the Wessex tomorrow and because of the injuries, we need everyone to really get behind the lads.

The singing and chanting gives the players a big lift and the fans can really play their part tomorrow.”

One bit of good news for Weymouth this week comes as a result of Yeovil Town’s FA Youth Cup.

The Glovers’ run in the competition was ended by Everton, meaning teenage defender Charlie Welch has now made his move to the Wessex Stadium permanent.

“Signing Charlie permanently was always going to be a formality,” said Johnson, “but I’m glad everything is now sorted.

“Charlie’s a talented player who has done well in his couple of months at the club and I’m sure he’ll only get better as he plays.

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