FOUR League Two clashes in 10 days will severely test Accrington Stanley’s small squad as they look to move towards the safety of mid-table.
Stanley manager John Coleman was still hopeful of bringing a young loan striker to the 19th-placed club before tomorrow’s trip to promotion chasing Bradford where the Reds need a win after five defeats in their last six games.
But it comes in a week where the Reds have missed out one target - Carlisle hitman Danny Carlton who has joined Tuesday’s opponents Darlington instead.
"It’s still the same old story," said the Reds boss. "I am waiting to hear from everybody.
"I have been in talks about bringing a young striker in on loan and I hope to have him before Bradford.
"I expected Danny Carlton to join Darlington really. We will just have to keep looking.
"We do have a lot of games now and it will be difficult but we have to get on with it.
"The only good thing is that we have a decent record at Bradford - we have done well in the past and hopefully we can do well again.
"They are up there challenging for promotion but it is what you would expect as they are a big club.
"But we need to make sure we go out there and win as we have got to keep ourselves safe."
His threadbare squad is stretched further with the suspension of Kieran Charnock - for one match after picking up five bookings - while John Mullin is expected to be out for two weeks with an ankle injury. The good news is, though, the midfielder does not need an operation.
Leam Richardson (ankle) is still touch and go while captain Peter Cavanagh is hoping to overcome a calf strain.
Keeper Kenny Arthur, though, is back after kidney problems which have kept him sidelined for the last four games. He will want to play at Valley Parade to banish the memories of the broken leg he suffered there in Stanley’s 3-0 win last season.
Blackburn loan players Rostyn Griffiths and Jamie Clarke remain names in the frame but a change of manager at Ewood Park has thwarted attempts to bring them back to the FES quicky.
"Paul Ince was willing to let them come back but, understandably, Sam Allardyce wants to assess all his squad so that has caused a delay," said chief executive Rob Heys.
A YOUNG Stanley reserve side won 1-0 against Rochdale at Rossendale in the cup on Wednesday. Substitute Martin Payne scored. The second string play Tranmere at home next Wednesday (ko 2pm).