Elgin City could be missing six players for Saturday's league trip to Annan
INJURIES, and even an international call-up have conspired against Elgin City but so far failed to halt their fine start to the season.
Such is the shortage of bodies at Borough Briggs just now, manager Gavin Price is exploring the loan market with Caley Thistle starlet Daniel Mackay a strong possibility to be brought in as a temporary measure.
A patched-up Black and Whites side dug deep for a 4-3 win at Easter Road against Hibernian’s under-20s in the Tunnock’s Caramel Wafer Cup on Tuesday night, but victory came at a heavy cost.
Winger Conor O’Keefe has been ruled out for six weeks after damaging ankle ligaments, while teenage striker Owen Loveland sustained a similar shoulder injury to captain Darryl McHardy and will be out for a similar length of time.
With McHardy, Brian Cameron and Andy McDonald already on the sidelines, City boss Gavin Price must also make do without midfielder Rabin Omar for the next fortnight, as the player has been called up by Iraq’s under-23 squad.
“It’s frustrating to be dealt such a cruel blow because things are going well, but we are really getting stretched to the limit,” said Price.
The manager said he has had “positive discussions” with ICT boss John Robertson about bringing in Scotland under-19 international Mackay, who set up the winning goal in the Inverness side’s Challenge Cup final triumph over Dumbarton last year.
But with Caley Thistle also hampered by injuries, business won’t be done for at least a week meaning Elgin numbers are very limited for tomorrow’s league trip to Annan and the Tunnock’s Cup journey to Brechin on Tuesday.
Of the missing masses, only McDonald has a chance of playing at Annan, though he is struggling with an injury affecting his knee and hamstring.
Price is determined to focus on the positives provided by a winning league start on Saturday and the battling cup success over Hibs.
He is thrilled to see his strike partnership of Shane Sutherland and Kane Hester continue to flourish. Sutherland scored and missed a penalty in Edinburgh – he now has seven for the season – while Hester grabbed two and Matthew Cooper fired a dramatic last-minute winner.
“There’s a bit more resilience within the squad and a few different characters but they are really being put to the test."