Lawless and Tyler likely to be missing
Last month's match winner against Nuneaton Alex Lawless faces a late fitness test as he attempts to overcome his ankle injury that kept him out of last Saturday's Blue Square Bet Premier meeting with Forest Green Rovers.
Looking ahead to Saturday’s FA Cup tie with Boro, Buckle had hoped to have Lawless back available but has rated the chances of the Welshman appearing as “slim”.
Another absentee from last week's fixture was ever-present Mark Tyler, who before last Saturday's trip had been the only Hatters player to have played every minute of every game for the Town. A back injury kept Town's number one out of that fixture and when asked about Tyler's chances for a return Buckle spoke with caution.
“I won't risk him if he's not fit,” said the Hatters chief. “He's made good improvement this week and was out with Dimi (Kharine) this morning. Dean Brill is good enough to be in our first team if Tyler is not fit so I am confident regardless of who plays of a good display.”
Definite absentees for Saturday's cup clash are Dean Beckwith, Simon Ainge, Yaser Kasim and long term injury concerns James Dance, Danny Spiller and Garry Richards. Whilst both Kasim and Ainge will miss Nuneaton's visit due to ineligibility in this competition as a part of their loan deals, Beckwith is still unavailable due to injury. Dance has returned to light training to the delight of the Hatters boss but Spiller and Richards are both some way off making their Town debuts.
Despite the lack of fit central defenders at his disposal Buckle spoke in a confident manor when talking up his side's versatility. “Lathanial Rowe-Turner and Ronnie Henry can both play there,” said Buckle. “So far they've all adapted brilliantly and shown our versatility.”
Town's midfield has received some reassurance this week however with Arnaud Mendy's loan agreement allowing him to participate in the cup clash along with the returning Adam Watkins. Watkins returned from a loan spell at Kidderminster Harriers this week, and Buckle says despite his disappointment that Watkins was not used more at Harriers, he is pleased to have a player of his calibre back in the squad.
“I'm disappointed that Adam's loan was not extended as I feel it is important for him to get a good run of games,” admitted Buckle. “However, we're pleased to have him back and he has trained well since returning. We have the option of seven substitutes this weekend and Adam will feature in the squad.”
Meanwhile the Town and Tamworth have confirmed that defender Greg Taylor has extended his loan at the Lamb Ground until 1st December.