Fleetwood Town suffered a bunch of body blows with injuries last month, but it was not all doom and gloom as several players have stepped out of the shadows to shine in recent weeks.
Three of Uwe Rosler’s men picked up injuries over the course of November.
Midfield maestro Jimmy Ryan recently underwent minor surgery on his foot after being on the receiving end of a bad Anthony Grant challenge in Town’s 2-1 defeat at Port Vale – a tackle that shockingly went unpunished.
Ryan is now ruled out until after Christmas along with centre-half Ash Eastham, who picked up a broken jaw 10 days later in the 3-0 win over Shrewsbury.
Versatile midfielder Martyn Woolford will be a long-term absentee after picking up a knee ligament injury in the 4-2 EFL Trophy defeat at Carlisle.
Full-back Michael Duckworth (groin) is also a doubt for tomorrow’s game against Walsall.
But the injuries have seen on-loan Manchester City youngster George Glendon step in to Ryan’s big shoes, while Joe Davis came in from the cold to step in for Eastham and help Town to keep a clean sheet at Shrewsbury on Saturday.
Jack Sowerby and Victor Nirennold have also stepped up in midfield and at times at full-back.
Rosler says the injuries are his only disappointment from a hectic run of games at a time when Town are enjoying a five- match unbeaten run, but he believes it is a chance for the rest of his players to cement a place in his side.
The head coach said: “We are getting less and less bodies and that is the only disappointing thing.
“The injuries are not soft tissue injuries, not muscle injuries but impact injuries and we are in an impact sport.
“Sometimes we have been unfortunate with those situations.
“Seeing that tackle from Grant on Jimmy Ryan from the touchline – and the player didn’t even get a yellow card for that – makes it annoying that the player has been out for a while from such a bad tackle.
“First and foremost, the players who are out do everything to be back as soon as possible.
“The players who are fit and ready to play do everything to stay fit, perform well and using their opportunity because this situation gives certain players a very good opportunity to get a run of games under their belt.
“They can use the opportunity to cement a place in the team.”