Graham Barrow faces an anxious wait to discover whether Andy Kellett has suffered a recurrence of the knee injury that ruled him out for most of Wigan Athletic’s campaign.
The versatile star was a surprise selection at left-wing back against Aston Villa on Saturday, but was forced to quit the action at the start of the second period after pulling up lame.
We’ll be able to judge it a little better tomorrow when it’s settled downGraham Barrow
Kellett’s anguished look as he left the field - and straight down the tunnel - suggested he was worried it was linked of to the knee ligament problem he sustained in pre-season that ruled him out until mid-December.
“We’ll be able to judge it a little better tomorrow when it’s settled down,” revealed Barrow.
“You could see on his face he was disappointed to be having to come off again,.
“He’d looked so good in training, probably one of the players who really put themselves forward to play.
“He made a statement on the grass - he said: ‘I’m here’ - which I want more of.”
Kellett at least has a fortnight to recuperate before Wigan’s next game thanks to the last international break of the campaign.
“I think this break has come at the right time for us,” admitted Barrow, who was pleased with most aspects of the clash against Villa - other than the 0-2 scoreline that means Latics are now seven points adrift of safety with only eight games remaining.
“If we can improve as much as we have in just a few days, we can really improve over the next fortnight and hopefully get some goals,” he continued.
“The early part of the week is a good chance for some of the players to get over the recent games.
“Then they’ll be back in and it gives us a real 9-10 days’ build-up to the game.
“For coaches, that’s a dream really.
“This club has been here before, and we’ve done it before.
“The signs were encouraging on Saturday, and the international break will give us a little bit of time to work with the coaches, and hammer the system.
“Hopefully we can get a few of the lads a little bit revitalised as well, and get back up and running.”
It certainly wasn’t the way Barrow wanted to kick-off his interim managerial reign, but he was pleased to get the game out of the way after a tumultuous week.
“Once I got to the stadium, I was all right, it was quite exciting if I’m honest,” he added.
“Then when you come out of the tunnel, and you see the reaction from both sets of supporters, and get into the game.
“I don’t know why I was so nervous, I don’t know.
“Maybe it was the expectation I bring on myself, and that’s always the thing that used to get you going as a player.”