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Zubar injury blow could force defensive u-turn
KEVIN Blackwell could be forced to recall one of two central defenders currently out on loan after confirming that Stephane Zubar will be out for the rest of the season.
Veteran Efe Sodje has been loaned out to Barrow for a month while Mark Hughes was due to stay at League Two Accrington Stanley until the end of the season.
One or both could now make a shock return for Saturday’s visit of Crawley after scans showed the knee injury picked up by Zubar at Notts County on Friday was more serious than first thought.
“We’ve lost Zubar,” said manager Blackwell after Tuesday night’s welcome 1-0 win at second-placed Swindon.
“I don’t know if we will look to recall any of our defenders, but Ethan (Ebanks-Landell) is struggling a little bit at the moment, and we have one or two other knocks, so we’ll see.”
Ebanks-Landell, aged 20, was forced to drop back into defence from midfield to cover for Zubar after the on-loan Bournemouth defender was injured at Meadow Lane.
Bury were leading 1-0 at that point, but Ebanks-Landell and centre-back partner Ashley Eastham, aged 21, had a shocker, conceding four goals in 16 second-half minutes.
They showed great courage to bounce back and claim a clean sheet at Swindon on Tuesday, and Blackwell is eager to continue with the pairing.
“The two young centre-backs were awesome. For the mistakes they made at Notts County, they thoroughly redeemed themselves,” said Blackwell.
But the Bury boss needs cover, and will be unable to dip into the loan market following news this week that the club have been put into transfer embargo for the second time in three months.
Director David Manchester confirmed to the Bury Times last Friday that Bury had been forced to go to the PFA for a temporary loan to cover an ongoing cashflow problem, effectively ensuring the players’ wages will be paid up to the end of the season.