FOR GUISELEY manager Paul Cox, it has very much been a case of mixed news on the midfield front this week.
The Lions boss has boosted his numbers in the engine room by bringing in Barrow’s Liam Hughes, but the club are also facing up to the prospect of being without midfielder Will Hatfield following groin surgery.
The former Accrington player, out since coming off early on in the club’s 4-2 National League success over Solihull Moors on October 21, is facing an extended spell on the sidelines and is the latest addition to the club’s congested treatment room.
Cox, whose side welcome Sutton tomorrow, said: “It just seems that when we get one back, we get another out and Will has been struggling with it and it is unfortunate for Will.”
The addition of Rotherham-born Hughes, 24, who progressed through the youth system at Cambridge United to make his first-team debut for the club in October 2010, should at least provide Cox with another option.
Hughes, who had a short spell on loan with Corby Town in 2012, played 177 games for the U’s before leaving in January 2016 and went on to join Scottish Premiership side Inverness Caledonian Thistle for the rest of the 2015-16 season – featuring 11 times – before later joining Barrow.”
Guiseley’s eagerly-awaited FA Cup second-round trip to Cox’s former side Mansfield Town may be around the corner, with the Lions visiting Field Mill a week on Sunday, but the priority of the Lions chief is very much on league business.
While Guiseley saw their midweek feature at AFC Fylde fall victim to the elements, relegation rivals Barrow and Torquay claimed victories to push Cox’s side down to third-bottom.
While the glamour cup tie with the Stags will be a nice distraction when it arrives, Cox says that players and the club establishing themselves in the professional ranks of the National League and being solid constituents of it means no-one will be getting star-struck.
He said: “I don’t think it is just the cup game now. We want to take the club to another phase now and I have had really positive talks with the chairman about the next stage of our development and building the club. I have only been here for 10 weeks and the change has been frightening.
I have only been here for 10 weeks and the change has been frightening. Now, it is about the players building a culture and developing their game management at this level.Guiseley boss, Paul Cox.
“Now, it is about the players building a culture and developing their game management at this level.
“Even though some of the results went against us on Tuesday, it still opens it up for us to go up three, four or five places and the gap can still go in two or three games and things can change – and you can fall too. But now is the time to really put pressure on others.”
Meanwhile, Cox, who this week allowed young striker Frank Mulhern to join National League North side Harrogate Town on loan until December 22, is attempting to look on the positive side following Tuesday’s postponed game at Fylde.
Cox admitted to being a little frustrated that the game was not called off earlier than 6.15pm – with the pitch clearly waterlogged.
He said: “The referee made the right call.
“If there was a little bit of a bee in my bonnet, he probably could have done it a little bit earlier instead of hanging around getting wet.
“When we got there, you could tell just walking on the pitch that it was under water at some points and unplayable. It was frustrating, but something you have to deal with. You always have to look at the positives and we got a training session under our belts at Fylde, so we didn’t miss out on the night.”