Feb 10 2010 by Colin Paterson, Airdrie & Coatbridge
PAUL MARTIN believes injuries are wrecking Albion Rovers’ play-off bid.
The Cliftonhill boss travelled to Elgin City at the weekend with only 14 players because of injury, illness and suspension.
A sickness bug saw Alan Reid and Phil McGrath join the crocked trio of Todd Lumsden, Chris Boyle and Marc Pollock on the sidelines. A ban ruled out Mick O’Byrne.
Striker Marc McCusker suffered a head injury in the match at Borough Briggs and his forthcoming availability will be decided between the player and physio John McMenemy.
Martin’s men host title-chasing Third Division East Stirling this Saturday, with the manager determined to put last weekend’s 3-1 defeat to Elgin behind him.
Speaking ahead of last night’s scheduled visit of leaders Livingston, Martin said: “We work really well as a unit and that is why we were successful earlier in the season.
“We are lacking in confidence at the moment but once we get everyone back, we will be OK.
“If I had gone up to Elgin with my best team and lost by the same scoreline, then I would be depressed.
“I expected us to produce a better performance on Saturday. I wasn’t proud of it and the manner in which we lost the goals was not acceptable. What is important is to get key players back.”
Rovers welcomed the Lions to Coatbridge on the back of nine league games without a win.
The team were seven points adrift of the play-off zone and Martin conceded that the long winless streak had affected his players.
He added: “I am concerned that this run has eroded confidence a little bit.
“We need to get some of that belief back.
“But where we have failed is that we haven’t been winning games where we have dominated.
“Nine games without a win isn’t something to be proud of but I fully believe other teams will have the type of run we are on.”
On the transfer front, a deal has been agreed to bring winger Lee Hoolickin to Rovers from Penrith. The manager is now awaiting international clearance.
And utility man Ryan Thomson was set to be involved last night after arriving on-loan from Dunfermline Athletic.
lVISIT www.acadvertiser.co.uk today for reports and reaction from Rovers’ match with Livingston last night.