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Reds boss hopes for good news
Crawley boss Richie Barker is hoping to be given a fitness boost ahead of Wednesday’s friendly at Whitehawk.
Injuries to a small squad left Barker with just 12 senior players for Saturday’s 2-0 friendly defeat at home to Championship side Millwall.
Reds finished the game with eight teenagers and a trialist on the pitch.
And with less than three weeks to go before the new season starts Barker insists he is no closer to adding to his two summer signings to date.
Former Albion favourite Adam Virgo, who got 25 minutes on Saturday, is considered too far off a return to fitness following a serious injury to be in Barker’s plans.
But the Crawley boss hopes to have some of his injured players available for either Wednesday’s game at Whitehawk or Saturday’s game at Burgess Hill.
Summer signings Andy Drury and James Hurst plus Josh Simpson and Joe Walsh all missed Saturday’s game will Millwall with minor knocks while young striker Jonte Smith went off with an ankle injury.
Barker said: “We hope by Wednesday the majority of them will be back.
“Joe had stiff hamstrings after Wednesday night, Andy and Josh are just not quite right from the niggles they picked up from the Oakwood game. James (Hurst) was another who played against Oakwood and because of the intensity of the training at the minute he felt a twinge in his hamstring last week. We are hoping he will be fit again by midweek.
“There is no point rushing anybody anyway. Certainly with the size of our squad anybody who has got any kind of problems we need to leave out.”
Virgo has not played since last October due to a knee injury and was released by Bristol Rovers at the end of the season.
Although he came on against Millwall, the 30-year-old is essentially training with Crawley to get fit and Barker is not considering him as a potential signing because of that.
He said: “That was his first half-an-hour of football for a long time. It will give him confidence, because he has had a fairly serious injury. He was rightly dubious about playing but I’m sure he enjoyed it and hopefully we can help him back on his way again.
“He is just training with us, we are glad to help him out and he is helping us out with numbers.”