Town midfield trio hope to return for Gateshead

TOWN’S first choice midfield three could all be available for Saturday’s visit of promotion rivals Gateshead, writes Mark Wood.

Thursday, 13th October 2011, 9:00 am

Keith Keane (suspension), Jake Howells (international duty) and Alex Lawless (broken hand) were all ruled out on Tuesday night as Hatters tossed away a 2-0 lead to draw 2-2 at Ebbsfleet United.

Keane and Howells look definites to return, while there appears to be a sneaking chance that Lawless may also make a surprise appearance.

Manager Gary Brabin said: “On Saturday we’ve got our midfield three back, Jake Howells, Keith Keane and we will see about Alex Lawless.

“We’ve got light at the end of the tunnel in terms of players coming back.”

On Lawless, Brabin continued: “He has had another check up on his progress and we will take it from there.

“We look at it from a positive point of view that it’s the next step. I’m more than confident we will go on and get some good results.”

Town’s stars were in no doubt they must bounce back from Tuesday night’s disappointment.

Speaking after the game, stand-in central midfielder James Dance said: “The gaffer spoke before saying this is the most important game.

“We would have loved to go into the two games picking up six points against Kidderminster and here. It would have been a fantastic return.

“If you swapped the results to a win here and a draw at Kidderminster it wouldn’t have looked too bad.

“There’s no-one more disappointed in that changing room. We will welcome Gateshead and see if they are up to the test of coming to our ground.”

Striker Amari Morgan-Smith, who netted the first goal, is hoping Town will raise their game against one of the division’s better teams.

He added: “I said to Cards (Paul Carden) we seem to play better against the stronger teams. Hopefully we will get the six points and move on from there.

“We’ve got to learn from it now and come to these places and dig out wins.”

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