TWO down in midfield, Mick Tait is in no hurry merely to make up the numbers at Blyth Spartans. For while keen to bolster a squad depleted by recent injury and departure, the Blyth boss is only interested in long-term replacements.
The Croft Park outfit head to eighth-placed Corby Town tonight – interrupting their usual schedule of playing Blue Square North games on Tuesday nights – with Mark Doninger newly-departed and Chris McCabe sidelined.
Just days after McCabe underwent surgery to insert metal plates and pins in his broken right leg, former Newcastle United reserve team captain Doninger has signed for League of Ireland side Sligo Rovers.
Yet while that leaves Tait light in midfield, and actively seeking additions, he will not be rushed into signings simply to swell numbers.
“I’m looking to get someone in but I can’t see it happening in time for the Corby game,” said Tait, who retains injury doubts over Darren Craddock and Mark Bell (both foot). “I’ve spoken to one or two people but it’s difficult in terms of timing. People are settled at clubs, and if I’m bringing anyone in they have to be better than what we’ve already got. I know it’s about numbers at this time of the season but it would have to be someone for next season as well, not just the next couple of games.
“The important thing is we get through this week. We’ve had an extra day’s rest, because we’re used to playing on a Tuesday, but then it affects the rest of the week. We probably won’t be able to train on Thursday now, just to allow the lads to recover from any knocks.
“We’ve lost Chris McCabe and now Mark, so we’re really thin in midfield. Chris is out for the season and we always knew Mark was likely to leave because from day one when he arrived we always knew he was looking to get back into full-time, professional football.
“We knew that, we signed him on that understanding and we would never go back on that and block his way. He loved playing for Blyth Spartans and gave it his all but he wanted to give it another go, that’s why he’s been around on trials (Doninger also tried out at Derby County and Burton Albion).
“He’s been lucky enough to get something fixed up and we wish him well.”