Fitness test for Klukowski

Fitness test for Klukowski

Fitness test for Klukowski Buy this photo

First published in Sport by

Yan Klukowski will undergo a fitness test today ahead of Forest Green's visit to AFC Telford tonight, 7.45pm.

Rovers opened up their league campaign on Saturday at The New Lawn with a late Klukowski equaliser earning Forest Green a deserved 1-1 draw against Cambridge United.

But last season's leading goal-scorer will undergo a fitness test today ahead of the Telford game after straining a groin muscle in scoring the 89th minute penalty that earned Rovers a share of the spoils.

A traditional Tuesday evening game will be the first away test for Rovers, with manager David Hockaday keen to continue the fantastic form his side produced on the road last season.

"What we want to do is go away and to try and genuinely win every game," said Hockaday.

"Whether we are good enough or not, time will tell, but we’ll go to Telford and we’ll want to win the game.

"There is an onus on them to take the game to us so that hopefully might suit us "We’ll take the game to Telford but we’ll take the game to every team away from home and we’ll see where it takes us."

When Rovers travelled to Shropshire last season two first half strikes from Chris Sharp secured the Bucks a 2-0 win.

Chris Todd was also shown a red card that evening on his return to the middle of defence with James Norwood sent off too so Forest Green will be looking for a reversal in fortunes this time around.

Telford boss Andy Sinton has made some useful acquisitions this summer which include seeing attacker Kieron St Aimie arrive at the club, while experienced former Kidderminster Harriers defender Michael Briscoe is another new face at the Bucks.

Meanwhile, after scans and a visit to a specialist, captain Jared Hodgkiss has confirmed he will not require surgery but will be sidelined for the foreseeable future after being stretchered off in Rovers’ final preseason game against the Manchester United XI.

Despite the MRI confirming that Hodgkiss had torn ligaments in his ankle, the 25-year-old was surprisingly upbeat about missing the first chunk of the season.

Hodgkiss said: "Personally I am disappointed to not be playing, particularly after featuring in every league game last season, but from a team perspective I’ve got complete confidence in the boys that are doing a job in defence.

"The gaffer has been trying different combinations in defence during the preseason for this exact eventuality."

Fellow defender Paul Green who limped off against Wealdstone two days before Hodgkiss has suffered a similar though slightly less serious ankle injury and will also be in the treatment room for the foreseeable future.

The final two of the defensive quartet on the sidelines – Chris Stokes and Chris Todd – are carrying strains that put them out of Saturday’s season opener against Cambridge but management are confident they are not too far away from a return.

Hockaday said: "This shows the value of the squad that we have assembled, some players were unavailable on Saturday and others got an opportunity and they took it. We defended really well and over 90 minutes there was only one effort on-target and two off-target.

"The defenders that were fit did a great job. We also have Aaron Raccine already pushing for a spot and Toddy and Chris Stokes are not too far away."

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