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Pards may need new full back for the final
SAINTS may need to dip into the loan market for a new right back this week, Alan Pardew has revealed.
The loss of Wayne Thomas to a calf injury in training last Friday means the club is currently without a fit right back.
Dan Harding, who has been the regular left back this season, had to fill in on the right side at MK Dons on Saturday.
It is cruel luck on Pardew and Saints to be hit so hard in one position.
The manager does not want to use the loan market at this stage of the season, but he admitted his hand may be forced by circumstances.
The emergency window closes at 5pm on Thursday, meaning a new right back could be in place for the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy final, if Saints could find one that would not be cup tied.
“We’ve thought about actually bringing in a loan player,” said Pardew.
“I think that would be harsh on the group if I’m honest, but I still might have to do it if I feel it gives us the best opportunity to win the game.
“There’s a lot of people here like the Paul Wottons and the Chris Perrys of this world who deserve to play.
“It’s just positionally a problem, if I’m honest, filling it with the squad we’ve got, as good a bunch of pros as we’ve got in the group.”
Pardew did add that there was a “small hope” Thomas could play at Wembley on Sunday, though.
Saints have a number of other injury worries ahead of tonight’s visit of Hartlepool.
Adam Lallana is a serious doubt with a groin problem, although that is not expected to be an issue come Sunday.
Michail Antonio is also out with a groin injury.
Pardew has yet to decide whether to risk centre half Radhi Jaidi, who was rested at MK Dons with a hamstring problem.
“We’ve got a few issues as you would expect,” he said.
“We’ve had a lot of games, so we’re just nursing a few at the moment.”
Pardew is expecting Hartlepool to approach tonight’s game in much the same fashion as Swindon did last week.
“They’re fighting for their lives,” he said. “It’s a tough division and they’re coming up against a team in form, which is ourselves, and I’m sure that they will come up with a gameplan to make it difficult for us, as Swindon did.
“We’re going to see a lot more of it between now and the end of the year and next season for sure, teams coming here to stop us playing and we’ve got to overcome it and be clever enough.”