Finn Harps manager Ollie Horgan fears that he won’t be able to name a full 18-man panel for Friday night’s game against Drogheda United at Finn Park.
Following Monday’s EA Sports Cup defeat to Sligo Rovers, when three of his players were hospitalised, Horgan’s cupboard is pretty bare as he prepares for the visit of Drogheda.
Horgan’s casualty list – not counting Keith Cowan, who is out for the season – is into double figures with up to 11 players either out or doubtful for Friday’s fixture.
The Harps dressing room is resembling a hospital ward at the moment and Horgan expects that numbers will be thin on the ground this week.
Given the sheer volume of injuries that he has to contend with, Horgan is likely to be forced to patching up Barry Molloy and Paddy McCourt.
The experienced duo picked up calf and hip knocks respectively in Friday’s 2-0 derby win over Derry City in Buncrana.
“The injuries won’t go away without rest, but hopefully they might be able to play some part on Friday – we could be doing with them,” Horgan said.
Harps captain Ciaran Coll is struggling with a hip flexor ailment, but he too is likely to play through the pain barrier and the same is true of Caolan McAleer, whose injury is not as serious as Harps had feared last weekend.
Harps are definitely without the hamstrung trio of Danny Morrissey, Ciaran O’Connor and Jonny Bonner.
Morrissey, says Horgan, is ‘a long way off’ a return, O’Connor will be absent for ‘a couple of weeks’ and Bonner is facing a month on the sidelines.
Harry Doherty and Packie Mailey, who were involved in a serious clash of heads that resulted in a 25-minute stoppage in Monday’s game, face a few weeks out of action.
BJ Banda, who was also taken to hospital on Monday with a knee injury, will have an MRI scan, but Horgan says the striker will be out for the long term.
Harps hope that Eddie Dsane’s back problem will have eased by the time Drogheda roll up Navenny Street on Friday night.
“Our job would be hard enough without these injuries, but it makes it so difficult with them – we went into Monday night down five players, but that could be doubled now,” Horgan said.
“I’d say we will struggle to have 18 togged on Friday night when you take everything into account.”
Monday’s game saw Horgan give debuts to Dylan McCroary, Kealan McDermott and Ciaran Kelly, while Gareth Doherty was given his first start.
Some of the youngsters could now find themselves elevated for League duty.
Horgan said: “They acquitted themselves pretty well on Monday. It’s a pity that we didn’t get through the game, although it looks like they might get opportunities in the League now.”
Harps are still awaiting a work permit for Haitian international Pascal Millien.
Horgan said: “That’s still in process, but everyone can see now how important that work permit is. If ever there was a need, now would be that time.”Tags: