ADAM Turner will step into the FC United team as they take on fellow promoted side Cammell Laird tomorrow night … if he gets out of bed on the right side.
The towering 21-year-old central defender missed Saturday’s opening draw with Matlock with a neck problem after sleeping awkwardly, and the Rebels – already without stalwart Rob Nugent – leaked three goals.
Turner is set to replace Micah Bleau, who suffered from nerves in front of a big Gigg Lane crowd.
“I think Micah needs to come out of the firing line,” said manager Karl Marginson. “Adam has done really well in pre-season, and we can’t really afford many more of the basic errors we made on Saturday.
"He had the problem at training on Thursday, and hopefully it will have settled down by tonight."
Midfielders Chris Baguley and Dave Neville, who helped FC fight back from 3-2 down after arriving as substitutes on Saturday, may start on the bench again as they seek to improve fitness.
"They both need to get a bit fitter. The problem with the pair of them is that, for all their fantastic football, playing the pair of them gives you very little cover for the back four because they are both creative, forward-thinking midfielders.
"It's a problem I hope to solve at some point, but Dave certainly needs to get fitter. The big plus with him is that he is really enjoying his football, because he had fallen out of love with the game for a long time."
Carlos Roca, who also helped to transform the game after switching from a striking role to wide right, may start on the flank against the Camels, who came up automatically from the UniBond League's division one south despite finishing second - as champions Retford did not meet the stadium criteria.
Kyle Wilson will continue up front after marking his debut with two goals. Says Marginson: "As well as his goals, Kyle is a real, all-round team player, holding the ball up well, and the fact that he stepped up to take a penalty on his home debut when we were 1-0 down tells you a lot about his character.
"He also has good awareness and there is plenty more to come from him."
Marginson is urging his players to dig in for tomorrow night's game at the 1,500-capacity Kirklands Stadium in Birkenhead: "It's no Gigg Lane, and will be more of a battle than Saturday's game.
"They have an experienced manager in Ken McKenna, who has been in charge of TNS in European football. People might read something into the fact that they lost their first game at Guiseley on Saturday, but I think Guiseley will be one of the teams up there in contention at the end of the season.
"It will be a really tough game, and we will do well to get anything out of it."
Marginson is still looking for competition for full backs Liam Foster and Bradley Howard, and possibly a striker, but says a lack of cash is a problem: "We have young Rhys Hardy who has shown quite well in pre-season, and Nick Robinson did well when he came on against Matlock, and played a good part in the equaliser."