Back-line headache for Sheridan
Reporter: Matthew Chambers
Date online: 17 February 2017
ATHLETIC will cast aside their irritation at the FA ban for Anthony Gerrard in order to focus on a re-shuffle for a clash of significance at Swindon tomorrow.
Centre-back Gerrard had only just returned from a one-match ban to help the club to a clean sheet against Charlton.
But the 31-year-old has now accepted a charge of improper behaviour relating to a tunnel bust-up after he had picked up a second yellow card at half-time at the Proact Stadium.
With George Edmundson still getting over a foot injury, it leaves manager John Sheridan with a headache he could do without at the County Ground and at home to Millwall a week tomorrow.
"Obviously someone has reported him, whether it is Chesterfield or the referee I don't know," said Sheridan, who was himself the subject of an FA ban earlier this season for an incident while boss at Notts County.
"I feel it's a waste of time talking about it. It just irritates me.
"It is a blow to lose Anthony and he will miss Millwall as well.
"But it's done and it's no use me crying over it.
"I have to think about who I play there and what system we use.
"Hopefully, whoever comes in will do well and help the team."
Brian Wilson is set to switch from right-back to partner Peter Clarke in the middle in the likely absence of Edmundson.
"George played in a reserve game a couple of weeks ago and got a kick. His foot was swollen," Sheridan said.
"He declared himself fit for Chesterfield, but in the warm-up it swelled again and wasn't right.
"He ran in training yesterday, but I will just have to see what I can do."
A club seemingly on a downward spiral with five straight losses, Swindon will be without experienced defender Raphael Branco due to suspension tomorrow, though they are boosted by Rohan Ince's availability in midfield as one of seven loan players at the club, of which five can be named in the match day squad.
"I know what it will do for us if we win," said Sheridan, whose side are currently three places and five points clear of Swindon in 22nd. "But I want to concentrate on us.
"We go to try and win. There are other teams playing each other around us and results-wise you can't predict what will happen.
"We carry on doing what we have been doing."
Sheridan also confirmed that he made a tactical move in leaving goalkeeper Chris Kettings off the bench for the midweek game against Charlton.
"It's me who is taking the chance and Chris understands that - if anything ever backfires on it, I will take the blame," the manager said.
"It isn't something I usually do. But I put an extra attacker on as we were at home and I knew the importance of it if we were chasing the game."
Athletic (probable, 4-2-3-1): Ripley; McLaughlin, Clarke, Wilson, Hunt; Banks, Fane; Green, O'Neill, Taylor; Amadi-Holloway.
Subs (from): Kettings, Law, Reckord, Edmundson, Flynn, Croft, Ngoo, Osei, Erwin, Obadeyi.
Tomorrow fixtures in Sky Bet League One: Bradford v Bolton; Chesterfield v Bury; Coventry v Gillingham; MK Dons v Fleetwood; Port Vale v Bristol Rovers; Rochdale v Charlton; Sheffield United v Scunthorpe; Shrewsbury v AFC Wimbledon; Southend v Northampton; Swindon v ATHLETIC; Walsall v Peterborough.
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