Josh Andrews and Mitch Roberts back but Harrogate Town will not rush them onto the pitch

Josh Andrews and Mitch Roberts are back from injury and ready to give Harrogate Town a push towards the League Two finish line – but not just yet.

The pair joined on loan from Championship side Birmingham City in January, but have made little impact as yet because of injury.

Roberts, a 20-year-old left-back, made a quick debut at Cambridge United but pulled his hamstring early in the second half and has not featured since. Striker Andrew has also been back at St Andrew's having not played since two 89th-minute substitute appearances at the start of February.

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Rather than rush them back, manager Simon Weaver plans to go with the same squad against Southend United on Saturday as the one which disappointed at home to Morecambe seven days earlier, having had a rare midweek without a game to refresh tired bodies and work on the areas they were found wanting in against Derek Adams's side.

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“We'll go into it with the same squad as last week, plus on the edge of it we've got the two Birmingham lads, Josh Andrews and Mitch Roberts, back from injury,” said Weaver. “We've not seen much of them recently but they've come back from Birmingham and have been back training with us.”

Time for training-ground work has been extremely scarce for all Football League clubs in this condensed campaign.

“This season's been relentless so it's been good to have a bit of a breather and work on one or two things that we haven't been able to because of the amount of games and the recovery needed in between,” acknowledged Weaver.

“Not being able to work on things for any length of time has been difficult because we're acclimatising to this level for a start but also we've had one or two injuries to big players at the start of the season and not being able to work on stuff has harmed us a bit. We had a little sticky spell before Christmas but we got through to January and refreshed the squad a little bit and it's breathed life into the squad and given important players a bit of respite so we feel recharged now.

“I just thought for the possession we had (against Morecambe) we didn't show enough intensity in key areas and we conceded a sloppy goal and despite 35 crosses into the box we didn't get a head on anything or when we did we missed the target. We needed to do more.

“This week's been a chance to work on our timing when we get into the box and defensively making sure our set-pieces were really strong. We've looked at the video analysis and gone through the whole lot as much as we possibly can with the resources we've got.”

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