Housham brushes off injury crisis ahead of Harrogate test
Steve Housham's squad may be down to the bare bones, but he is refusing to change his football philosophy.
The Gainsborough Trinity manager has been plagued with injuries ahead of Saturday's Skrill North clash with Harrogate Town – a team he believes will challenge for honours this season.
Injuries to Tom Ward, Phil Barnes, Taylor McKenzie and Jonathan Williams have cast a shadow over his preparations.
Housham has confirmed Ward and McKenzie are definitely out, but is hoping Williams and Barnes will be able to play some part.
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But no matter who starts the game, Housham insists they will treat it like any other game and will be going out to win.
"We have tried being cautious before, against Histon earlier this season, and we were 1-0 down after eight minutes," said Housham.
"I believe that if my players perform to their best, they can beat anyone in this league and we will be setting up to do that against Harrogate.
"It will be tough. They are one of the sides I think will be up there, but we have already seen this season that we are able to lift our performance against the better sides."
Housham's squad has another reason for looking forward to the visit of Harrogate.
Ex-Trinity midfielder Craig Nelthorpe was snapped up by the North Yorkshire outfit following the departure of chairman Peter Swann last season.
"Craig was a great lad and a great player for Trinity," said Housham.
"We all knew the situation and we all understood why Craig left at the end of last season.
"The lads are looking forward to playing against him. We know what he is about, he's a very good player. We all wish him well at Harrogate, but not on Saturday."
The Trinity boss is confident he will be able to include forwards Conner Robinson and Rhys Oates in his squad on Saturday after parent clubs Lincoln City and Barnsley verbally agreed to extend their loan deals.
"The paperwork on those two should be sorted out this week, but both clubs have agreed to the extension," he said.
"There is likely to be a call-back clause with both players this time, but we are happy to be able to keep them on for a bit longer.
"They have been excellent for us since they arrived and they should come back into contention after being ruled out of last weekend's FA Cup game."
After watching his side lose their first six games of this season, the Trinity boss believes they have now turned the corner and, after going four games unbeaten, there is a far more positive vibe around the Northolme.
With another big game coming up next Saturday, away at Stockport County in the FA Cup, Housham says it will be a different Trinity than the one which lost 3-1 at Edgeley Park earlier this season.
"It is probably the best draw we could have got," added Housham.
"Financially it will be good because there will be a big crowd and we believe it is a winnable tie.
"They will certainly see a different Gainsborough side to the one they saw last month.
"Yes, we may be the underdogs, but we will go there in very high spirits."