FLEETWOOD Town boss Micky Mellon says he will take the rap for the defensive lapses that led to a 4-0 defeat at Barrow.
But as he tried to rectify the damage prior to tonight’s televised clash at home to York City, Mellon said: “I take responsibility for the team I picked at Barrow, but I had no option but to play players out of position because we are so ravaged by injuries.
He added: “It is getting so bad, that I am struggling to stage a seven-a-side match for training.
“I am not making excuses, but we have so many injuries at the moment, and there are nine of them I can’t even put any kind of time frame on when they may return – they are that long-term.
“I had to give Matt Hughes his debut against Barrow at right-back, when he is a centre-half.
“I didn’t have a right-back, and the player I brought in to play in that position – Matt Flynn – got a shoulder injury.
“I played Gareth Seddon on the right-wing against Barrow when he is a central striker, and put Alex Ray-Harvey on the left when his position is in central midfield.
“I have also lost players like Andy Mangan and Peter Till, as well as Anthony Barry, who is probably the best midfielder in the Conference, and I am playing Jamie Milligan when he is probably not match-fit.
“We only have 15 or 16 fully fit players, four of them are central defenders and when you take away the goalkeepers, that does not mean there is much left.”
Despite the shock to the system the Barrow defeat produced, Mellon said it had been difficult for players to be asked to do jobs they don’t normally have to undertake.
Fleetwood are quickly back in action tonight, with the York match brought forward to an Friday evening kick-off to accommodate TV.
Asked if it was good that Fleetwood were returning to action so soon, Mellon said: “Yes and no. Yes, it is good we get the chance to take out some of our frustration in the match against York – and no because we still have all the injuries.”
York have had a mixed week themselves. They lost 1-0 to Telford at home last Saturday, but hit back in style with a stunning 5-1 win at Kettering in midweek.
Jason Walker scored two of the York goals.
As at Fleetwood, there has been a big turnover of playing staff at York during the summer.
There have been nine arrivals, with as many departures, as boss Gary Mills attempts to build on the eighth place in the Blue Square Bet Premier last season.
l MELLON has explained the reasoning to allow striker Danny Rowe to go on loan to Droylsden.
He said: “Danny needs games to get experience. It would be unfair to pitch him into the side at present, and it is not forwards we are short of at the moment.”