Injuries continue to bite for Tudors

Hemel Hempstead Town are gearing up for a busy bank holiday weekend still ravaged by injuries to key players

Thursday, 26th August 2021, 7:17 am
Updated Thursday, 26th August 2021, 7:20 am
Lee Bircham

Lee Bircham knows he will have some “juggling” to do as injury-ravaged Hemel Hempstead Town prepare for a busy bank holiday weekend of action.

The Tudors suffered a 3-0 home defeat to Braintree Town at Vauxhall Road on Saturday, making it two losses from their two Vanarama National League South matches so far.

Boss Bircham remains reluctant to make excuses but a huge injury list is continuing to cause him a major headache.

Hemel did add defender James Kaloczi and midfielder Mike Freiter to his squad ahead of last weekend’s game while Stephen Gleeson returned from injury as a second-half substitute.

But Bircham is set to still be without a number of key players over the bank holiday weekend, which sees Hemel heading to Ebbsfleet United on Saturday before hosting Dulwich Hamlet on Monday.

“We are hindered at the minute,” the Tudors boss said.

“It’s very hard because you don’t want to make excuses but it is difficult when you’ve got five central midfielders and you’re missing all of them and you’ve got two centre-forwards and you’re missing both of them. It’s a large part of your team.

“All those midfielders had a lot of game time in pre-season and the pattern of play is set up to go through the midfield.

“On Saturday we had a centre-half in there and a lad who was playing his first game for 18 months and it was a very difficult one to come into.

“But, again, all three goals were avoidable. There were three mistakes and we need to cut them out. We’re being punished for our mistakes and when other teams make one against us, we’re not finishing it.

“The main thing for us though is getting the boys back fit. We have only got half a team out there. You just hope that we are having our spell of injuries now.

“We probably forced Stephen Gleeson into 45 minutes on Saturday because we had no choice and he came through that, which is a good sign.

“And I am hopeful we should have a couple more back, if not for Saturday then for Monday.

“There will have to be a bit of juggling with it being Saturday-Monday.

“We just need to get our better players back on the pitch.

“I don’t think any team from the Premier League downwards would be able to cope with 12 or 13 injuries like we have had all at the same time.

“To have our whole midfield and forward line out has been devastating. But we have to get on with it and once we have them back, it will be like signing new players.”