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Cox assesses defensive options

24 October 2013

Defenders John McCombe and Ryan Tafazolli could be in contention for a place in the starting line-up, when we lock horns with Plymouth Argyle on Saturday.

Both John Dempster and James Jennings are ruled out of the clash through suspension, whilst Martin Riley is set to be sidelined for up to a month.

Our side finished the midweek clash at Bury with a makeshift back-four, which included Ritchie Sutton and Lee Beevers operating at centre-half.

McCombe hasn’t featured for us at first team level since our 2-0 loss at Tranmere Rovers in the First Round of the Capital One Cup in August.

Meanwhile, Tafazolli made a 45-minute appearance for our reserve side in their clash at Hull City last week, but was taken off at half-time with a knee injury.

Left-Back Paul Black could also feature against Argyle at One Call Stadium this weekend.

Manager Paul Cox said: “Ryan Tafazolli could be fit and we’ve got people like John McCombe, who has been waiting in the wings, and is going to get an opportunity.

“Hopefully, the players that come in will grab their chance and make it difficult for me, when the likes of ‘Riles’ and ‘Demps’ are available again.”

“John (McCombe) captained Port Vale to promotion at this level of football last season and he hasn’t become a bad player overnight. 

“If you look at the goals against column, it proves that we’ve been very hard to beat this season. He’s had to be patient, but he’s worked extremely hard and will get an opportunity.

“We’ve got some good options and some good players here.”

When asked whether the club may dip into the loan market, Cox replied: “It’s a big month coming up for us. We want to consolidate our position and even try to push on. To do that, the squad may need bolstering.”

Meanwhile, our boss has confirmed that the club won’t be appealing against the red card, which was shown to Dempster during our match with Bury. For more on that story, click here.

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