Facey unlikely to be risked as Hasselbaink ponders changes for Gillingham clash

DOUBT: Shay Facey won't be risked by Hasselbaink on Tuesday
DOUBT: Shay Facey won't be risked by Hasselbaink on Tuesday

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink will assess his squad before deciding if to make any changes for the visit of Gillingham on Tuesday, but one player who looks set to miss out is defender Shay Facey.

The young right-back was forced off prematurely against Rochdale last week and missed Saturday’s game at AFC Wimbledon with a hamstring problem and though the injury is not as bad as first feared, he will not be played if deemed too risky.

“Shay probably won’t make it for Tuesday,” confirmed Hasselbaink. “He’s 50-50 but I don’t think I’ll risk him.”

Fellow right-back Brendan Moloney made an assured and confident return to the team against Wimbledon on Saturday so there is no need for Hasselbaink to take any risks with the January signing from Man City.

Elsewhere, Daniel Powell made only his second start since early November at Kingsmeadow and might be one player that Hasselbaink was referring to when he hinted at changes as the Cobblers prepare for their first midweek match of any kind for nearly three months, with their last one coming at Plymouth Argyle on November 21.

The short turnaround from their 3-1 win at Wimbledon could tempt Hasselbaink into changes and he’s hardly short on options after the club’s spending splurge in January when nine new faces arrived, though his team’s performance at Kingsmeadow, where they ran out comfortable winners, might convince him to stick with the same 11 for Tuesday’s visit of in-form Gillingham, who have lost just two league games since November’s reverse fixture at Preistfield.

“It’s going to be a challenge (to play in midweek) because there was some tired bodies after Saturday and we’ll have a look and see who recovers well,” said Hasselbaink.

“We have a few hamstring problems and we’ll need to nurture them and see how they are.

“We’re at home and we want to take the game to the opposition and try to get another performance like the one on Saturday.

“There’s a few smiles after Saturday but we’re already starting our preparation for Tuesday and we’ll watch Gillingham on the computer.”