Bristol Rovers striker Ryan Brunt returns to training ahead of Northampton trip
Manager John Ward is hopeful that Ryan Brunt will be fit and available to spearhead Bristol Rovers' attack at Northampton Town tomorrow night.
Brunt missed Saturday 1-1 draw at Morecambe because of a knee injury sustained during last Tuesday night's 2-1 defeat at the hands of Rotherham United.
A scan on Friday, however, revealed no serious damage and Brunt joined in with training this morning and Ward is hopeful that he will be fit enough to make the trip to Sixfields.
"We might get Ryan back," said Ward. "He has got a bit of soreness, but there is no serious damage to the knee.
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"He was quite prepared to get his boots on and give it a go in training. If there is no reaction, we will include him for the trip to Northampton."
Midfielder Seanan Clucas, however, is expected to miss out after taking a heavy blow to his knee that led to him being carried off on a stretcher in the final few minutes at the Globe Arena.
"He's very sore," Ward confirmed. "We need to get a good look at that knee because it does look a nasty one."
David Clarkson (ankle) and Fabian Broghammer (hamstring) are also still struggling and not expected to feature against a Northampton side that boast the second-best home record in League Two.
"They are another team in good form, but so were Rotherham, Morecambe and Fleetwood and we managed to get good results in some of those games," said Ward.
"This is another tough game, but it won't faze me and it shouldn't faze any of my players either because we've managed to hold our own quite well in these sorts of games.
"Northampton score goals and win games and have got themselves in to the top six by being effective at what they do."
Ward, meanwhile, expects a cat and mouse affair against a side managed by a man he worked alongside at Colchester United for a year in the shape of Aidy Boothroyd.
"When Aidy went in there last year, I think they were in a similar position to where we have been in that they were in danger of going out of the league," said Ward.
"He has since built a side with a very good chance of getting out of this league at the right end this season.
"He is good at what he does and taking Watford to the Premier League a few years ago is testament to that fact.
"We've had tight games and I expect this to be no different. Our defenders will have to be very strong because in Clive Platt and Adebayo Akinfewa they have players capable of scoring goals, but the way we have defended has been at the crux of our improvement.
"The back four has been consistent in its selection and without a doubt they will have to be on their game again on Tuesday night, but I also feel that we are capable of finding a goal."
Rovers, meanwhile, continue to sit six points above the relegation zone following Saturday's draw at the Globe Arena – but Ward refuse to say exactly what they may need in terms of points before they can consider themselves safe.
"We need one more point than the bottom two on the final day of the season," Ward said. "We don't want to get to that point because that would be a bit tense, so we working as hard as we can to try and nail it down as quickly as we can.
"We can't think everything is fine, we have to work extremely hard over the next few weeks because the games are coming thick and fast before it is all over.
"I've never ever said we are out of it (relegation battle). We are in a better position, but there is still everything to go for.
"We have a relatively small squad of players, but we have to see if we can aim to maintain or even improve what we are doing."