Castle's hope of signing a striker on loan fading
STEVE Castle admits he's unlikely to get his loan target in before this weekend's FA Cup clash with Heybridge Swifts. Drew Roberts is set to miss the game through injury and Castle had hoped to sign a striker on loan from a Blue Square Premier club, but t
STEVE Castle admits he's unlikely to get his loan target in before this weekend's FA Cup clash with Heybridge Swifts.
Drew Roberts is set to miss the game through injury and Castle had hoped to sign a striker on loan from a Blue Square Premier club, but the City boss admits the chances of the deal going through ahead of Saturday's game are slim.
"The stumbling block is the FA Cup," Castle told the Herts Advertiser. "At this stage a Conference Premier club is not going to want to cup tie them. It's a little bit up in the air as to regards when it will happen. I think it's more likely it'll happen the weekend after."
The news regarding Roberts' injury is slightly better than first feared but the club's top scorer is still looking at a couple of weeks on the sidelines.
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"He won't be right for Saturday," said Castle. "It's not quite as bad as I think we first feared, which we thought was four or five weeks. He's hoping maybe a week or two. I think pretty much in between would be realistic so we'll be missing him and we're short on strikers it's as simple as that."
Scott Cousins trained with the first team on Wednesday evening after leaving Carshalton and Castle confirmed the left back would like to come back to the club, however the club's current financial situation means the City boss isn't holding out much hope of bringing the defender back in.
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"I'd like to have, but I'm not going to be able to afford too much," added Castle. "He's come along and yes he wants to come back. Whether I'm going to get any money for him I do not know. He's had a training session, it would be great to bolster things but I'm realistic to know that it probably won't (happen)."
It's a similar story with Hassan Sulaiman who has also been keen for a return but Castle admits he's going to have to release some players before bringing any more in.
"I told him there's nothing here and he's still here, bless him," said the City boss of Sulaiman.
"If by hook or by crook I could get something in, what I won't do is suck these guys in. I've told both of them that there's nothing here unless I shift a few bits and pieces out; that might well happen because both of those lads are quality players.
"Yes we need a goalscorer there's no secret in that but to have two quality players that really did well for us in all their time at St Albans would be great. Realistically it's going to be a tough task to keep them."
City's financial situation could be boosted by a win in the FA Cup this weekend. The winners of the tie will receive �4,500 and Castle says any prize money they can win would be invaluable.
He said: "I don't want to put pressure on anyone but it is one if we could progress and get ourselves a home tie against a decent team or if we can go through two or three rounds the prize money would be invaluable to a club where money is tight at the moment."
One City team who have progressed in a cup competition is the club's youth setup who disposed of Hitchin Town on Wednesday night. The young Saints turned in an impressive performance and Castle says he really enjoys working with the younger players.
"I get a lot of enjoyment out of it and hopefully they do to," beamed Castle. "They put everything in, there are loads and loads of mistakes but we're used to that watching the first team!
"There's a grit and determination about them that hopefully put us in good stead. It would be lovely if we could progress and get into when the League clubs come in but we've got a very tough game against arguably one of the best college teams, in Thurrock.
"I know they beat Leyton Orient 2-1 in pre-season Mr Edwards told me that. It'll be a tough game and I think that'll be in a couple of weeks time."
Two players who had an impact at either end of the field were striker Tinashe Muskwe and goalkeeper Adam McWeeney.
Muskwe got City's first goal and Castle was delighted for his front man.
"I'm pleased for him, because they were the group of Saints lads who didn't win too many games last year. Tinashe, scored I think only two or three goals all season and if he can score a few more goals like that it'd be great.
"Adam will be featuring heavily. We've got four really good 'keepers this year so it's nice that we can have a big selection headache. This was filmed for the FA Website, so if there's anybody who'd like to watch that it would be great, the kids would love it.