CHESTER FC boss Neil Young is planning to delve into the loan market to plug the defensive gap left by George Horan’s suspension.
Young fears his captain will be hit with a four-game ban after being sent off for the second time this season and wants to sign another centre-back as cover.
But he admits it will not be easy.
Young, whose second-placed side return to league action at home to Matlock Town on Saturday (3pm), said: “I’m going to have to look into the possibility of getting someone in short term – and somebody who’s not going to play in the FA Trophy because a lot of the managers I’ll be speaking to won’t want to release any players if there’s a chance they could be cup-tied.
“We need to get cover in as it looks like George will be missing for most of December.”
Blues officials are waiting to discover the number of matches Horan will miss as a result of the red card he received in Tuesday’s Doodson Sport Cup defeat at Hednesford Town.
The 29-year-old was given his marching orders along with Pitmen striker Nick Wellecomme after a 13th-minute brawl.
If Horan is handed a four-match suspension, it is likely to kick in before the trip to Kendal Town on November 29 and he will not return until the big Boxing Day clash at table-topping Northwich Victoria.
Young said: “George has reacted to the lad grabbing him by the throat and although the letter of the law says they had to go, I thought the referee could have shown a bit of leniency and booked them.”
Young will make changes for Saturday’s visit of play-off chasing Matlock.
A number of players were rested for the Hednesford cup tie while striker Michael Wilde has declared himself fully fit after recovering from ankle ligament damage.
Chester have scored an impressive 54 goals in 23 games this season but in recent weeks they have began to miss Wilde’s clinical finishing.
Young, who was pleased by the way the much-changed Blues played at Keys Park on Tuesday, said: “We’re going to make sure he’s 100% but the reports from the physio and Michael himself are that he is ready.
“Every club would struggle without Michael and hopefully this is the end of his injury problems.”
Jamie Rainford’s loan move to FC Halifax Town has freed up Young’s budget.
The arrival of former Wigan Athletic midfielder Joe Holt, 21, on Monday came hot the heels of a deal to bring striker James Ellison, 20, on a one-month loan from Burton Albion.
Chester are at home to Ashton United next Wednesday (7.45pm).