Lowestoft Town welcome Met Police to Crown Meadow this weekend with the aim of bouncing back from successive defeats. Ahead of the match, Sean Galea-Pace talks to first-team manager, Ady Gallagher, and finds out about the extent of the current situation on injuries, new signing Dominic Doherty and gains Ady's pre-match thoughts ahead of Saturday's clash.
Having lost the last two games, how confident are you that your side can bounce back this weekend against Met Police?
"A big part of football is bouncing back from disappointment. We've had three away games on the trot and struggled with fitness over the last few games and it's nice to have a home game but we've obviously got a few injury problems. As a unit, we're always looking to win every game we play and we'll be looking to bounce back".
You mentioned your side has a few injuries, what is the current situation?
"There is still a question mark over Andrew Fisk and Rossi Jarvis so they'll have fitness tests before Saturday but Frazer Blake-Tracy and Harvey Hodd are definitely not available for Saturday".
It's been a common theme this season with injuries, how badly do you think it's impacted your season?
"It's affected us quite badly. If you can keep everyone fit, you're able to pick the strongest side in every game. We know that from our point of view that we have a very small squad and unfortunately we've even had players play through their injuries because they didn't want the team to be short of players. The size of the squad has compounded the issue because players feel like they want to play and do their best for the side. It's a double edged sword really, you try to play because the side is short of players but actually you don't make yourself any fitter and you can't reach the level that you're capable of reaching and then you pick up a longer term injury which means you have to stay out anyway. It's not a position we've ever really been in before so it's difficult to try and juggle everything at the same time and keep everyone at their peak fitness".
Last week you completed the signing of Dominic Doherty, what have you made of him so far?
"He's done well. He's been in America for four years and American football doesn't tend to have much contact compared to here and that's something that he's going to have to adjust back into. But having come from here originally, he is used to the contact but it's now about adjusting his game again. I was really impressed with his contribution against Tonbridge, he came on for the last half an hour and I thought he gave us a bit extra in that time and it's encouraging. But obviously, his fitness levels aren't where they need to be at this moment in time but he's good enough to be able to have an impact on the game and it really is an encouraging sign. He's a local lad and it's always good to have local lads in the side. He played youth and reserve football for the club in the past but after his time in America, it's now about him adjusting back to the standard of football at this level and the early signs are good".
Your side drew 2-2 with Met Police earlier on in the season. What are you expecting from them and how much of a test will they be?
"Met Police are one of those sides that change their line-ups quite frequently, they've brought in several players and have a high turnover of players this season. You never quite know what you're going to get every time you play them, they had a great result in the week and will be boosted by that. You can't take any team for granted in this league; there's no easy game. Every team is incredibly tough. Met Police will be desperate to put some points on the board, just as we are, but it'll be a tough test this weekend but one that we will be prepared for".
Updated 13:10 - 4 Feb 2017 by Terry Bullen