Four-loanees rule has Linlithgow Rose boss Brown Ferguson sweating ahead of cup clash
Linlithgow Rose boss Brown Ferguson faces a major headache trying to find enough available players for their cup tie this Saturday.
Rose have been decimated by five recent player departures and several injuries to key men, with those problems exacerbated by the fact that a maximum of four loan players are permitted to take the field in this weekend’s home Soccer Shop Direct Challenge Cup second round encounter against Kello Rovers.
Ferguson, whose side won 3-2 at Blackburn United in their latest league game last Saturday, told the Journal and Gazette: “We’ve got too many loan players – nine – at the club, I know that.
“That’s just a reflection on the injury situation and players leaving. We needed to bring new players in, but I found out that in this cup competition you can only actually strip four loan players so we’re slightly up against it come the weekend.
“We’ll be able to field an 11. The decision will obviously be what loan players we bring into the squad and what ones we have to leave out.
“I believe Tommy Coyne is free from suspension because it’s not a league game, so we’ll have enough bodies.
“Obviously the one thing I want to try and get is a bit of continuity as well, building on a good result, so I don’t want to make huge amounts of changes.
“I’ll not be in a position to make that call.
“It will just be dependent on who’s available on the day really.
“Certainly the starting 11 should still be strong, and I think we’ll have a couple of players on the bench.
“I might need to strip myself, which I don’t really want!
“It’s just another challenge at this moment in time and there just seem to be big challenges every day.”
Ferguson stressed that there was some good news in the form of the new signing until January of American wide man Khedive McIntosh – who played the last 10 minutes at Blackburn – with the prospect of further good news, namely the “immiment” arrival of a new striker before Saturday.
Rose are also in action next Tuesday night, kicking off at 7.30pm, when they visit Camelon Juniors in the East of Scotland Football League Premier Division.
And Brown revealed that Gary Thom is close to returning to the team after injury.