Martin McIntosh says the return from suspension of goalkeeper Jan Budtz and midfielder Ricky Ravenhill could be just what the doctor ordered as Buxton aim to arrest a run of three games without a win.
Neither Budtz nor Ravenhill have featured in any of those three games, two of them being defeats, but are set to return to the fray for the visit of Coalville Town this weekend.
And McIntosh will be welcoming them back with open arms.
He said: “This isn’t a reflection on the lads who have come into the team as they’ve done really well, but we’ve really missed Jan and Ricky given their experience, know-how and ability which influences the team so much.
“The fact we’ve not won any of the three games they’ve missed says a lot so it’ll be good to have them back.
“We’ve been really unlucky with injuries and suspensions in recent weeks which hasn’t helped us at all, but I think we’ll be back to more or less our full complement this weekend, with the exception of long-term absentees Greg Young and Niall Doran and also Luke Hinsley who looks set to miss three or four weeks.
“That’s a big blow as he’s played every game so far, but with numbers coming back in, including Alistair Taylor who has been out since September and who has been another massive player we’ve missed, I’m hoping we can still improve on recent form.”
Buxton beat Coalville 5-1 in Leicestershire in the early weeks of the season but McIntosh says he won’t be using that match as much of a gauge as to what to expect this time.
He said: “They had two players sent off that day and both sides were very different.
“They are a decent team, as emphasised by the fact they went and won 3-1 at Warrington a couple of weeks ago. You don’t do that if you haven’t got quality players in the team so this will be a stern test for us.”
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The Bucks were beaten 3-0 at Farsley Celtic last weekend, with McIntosh blaming a poor start to the game for the overall outcome.
He said: “We took far too long to get out of the blocks and by the time we did we were chasing the game.
“We had a better second-half and created quite a few good chances to equalise, but they had openings too and it took a mistake from us to help them to the second goal which was costly, before the late third killed us off.
“I think the scoreline flattered them a little. That’s not saying we deserved anything at all from the game as Farsley were the better team and fully deserved the three points, but I don’t think 3-0 was a fair reflection on our performance overall.
“It was frustrating because Farsley are up in the play-off area and that’s where we want to be but I can’t really judge our play-off credentials based on that given how many players we had out.”
With Buxton lying 13th in the league there remains work to do if they’re to climb towards the top five, but with games in hand and the tight nature of the division, McIntosh remains optimistic.
He said: “There are still 18 games to play and as we get key players back I think we’ll begin to pick up points again.
“There’s a lot of football to be played and we are certainly not panicking just because we’re where we are in the league.”
Meanwhile, the Bucks’ Derbyshire Senior Cup quarter-final at Mickleover Sports was postponed for a third time on Tuesday night.
Waterlogged pitches have seen the tie drag on and although no new date had been confirmed for the tie as the Advertiser went to press, both clubs are keen to get the fixture completed.
McIntosh said: “There’s nothing you can do about it but obviously we don’t want it to drag on too much.
“It may even be that the game is switched to Buxton if there’s a chance it could be postponed again, which is ironic given the weather we often have up here!”