Grimsby Town at Macclesfield: Shaun Pearson ruled out - Tom Naylor steps in
TOM Naylor is set to make his full Grimsby Town debut against Macclesfield tonight after fellow defender Shaun Pearson was ruled out through injury.
Pearson strained knee ligaments in Tuesday night’s 3-1 win over Ebbsfleet United and could be set to miss the next two weeks.
Joint boss Paul Hurst admits Pearson’s absence is blow, but believes the Mariners have an ideal replacement in loanee Naylor, pictured, who will deputise against the Silkmen alongside Ian Miller.
It will be the Derby County man’s first start in a black and white shirt after coming on in the closing stages of the clash with The Fleet.
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Hurst explained: “Shaun got through the game on Tuesday, but then he was icing it afterwards but then on Wednesday morning it was really sore.
“We hope that he won’t be out for longer than two weeks, but it might not be as long as that.
“They’re difficult injuries to assess but what I will say that it looked better yesterday than it did do the day before.
“So fingers crossed it won’t be too long. Without a doubt, Shaun will be a loss because he’s been outstanding for us,” he added.
“He’s been in excellent form and he’ll be as disappointed as anyone to be missing tonight.
“What I would say is that it makes the decision for me and Rob. Tom will now come in and start alongside Ian Miller in the centre of defence.
“He came on the other night and did the job that we asked of him but he’ll revert to what is perhaps his most favourite position tonight – although he can also play at full-back and in the middle.”
The joint bosses have been pleased with the way Naylor has quickly integrated into the Town squad after joining on a season-long loan from the Rams last week.
And Hurst says the duo have no qualms about handing him his full debut tonight.
He continued: “We started him on the bench the other night because we felt it was only right having only trained with us twice.
“As it turned out, we needed him to go on in a different position for us and do a job which he did well.
“But he’ll come in tonight for his first start and will hopefully forge a good partnership with Ian Miller.
“He has settled in really well so far and hopefully, he’ll hit the ground running for us tonight.”