John Coleman is likely to be without a number of players for tomorrow night’s Checkatrade Trophy group stage game with Crewe as the injury list mounts.

The likes of Terry Gornell, Scott Brown and Chris Eagles have all been ruled out of the last few games and the Stanley manager expects a couple of others to join them on the sidelines.

“I think the ones who missed Saturday will probably still be out,” he explained. “We’ve got one or two knocks from the game on Saturday that we’ll have to take a look at. Although we’ve got a good squad in terms of numbers we have three out on loan and all of a sudden numbers can be quickly depleted.

“Mark Hughes won’t serve his suspension until Saturday so he’s available. I think we should be ok in terms of numbers.

“You go through periods where you have no injuries and then all of a sudden you rack them up from nowhere. We’ve had two players injured in training lately. It’s not just about playing in midweek, it’s a footballer’s occupational hazard to be injured from time to time.

“There will be an opportunity for a couple of players to come into the side and showcase themselves.”

Despite defeat to Morecambe at the weekend striker Billy Kee scored his first goals of the campaign after an injury lay off of his own and that left Coley encouraged.

“Billy was back on form at the weekend and that’s what we need,” he said. “When he’s on form we’re generally on form. The positive we can take from Saturday is that it’s a game we were capable of winning and probably should have won. We’ve just got to keep battling away.”

This is the first time the EFL Trophy, now sponsored by Checkatrade, will be played in its new format but all that matters to the manager is a good performance and a victory.

“This is just another game for me,” he insisted. “I like football and I just want to win. I don’t know whether people will approach this competition differently but we’ll be going out there to try and win the game tomorrow.

“We’re slowly finding our feet in the way we want to play and if we can keep improving in that regard then we’ll be okay.”