Di Paola proud of Hornets’ start through injury crisis

Terry Dodd could now be out for the season due to his knee injury.  SR1630831
Terry Dodd could now be out for the season due to his knee injury. SR1630831

Horsham manager Dominic Di Paola has insisted they should be proud of their efforts so far this season after comparing their injury crisis on a level with lowly Three Bridges.

The Hornets have been dealt another injury blow with talisman Terry Dodd feared to be ruled out for the entire season with his knee injury.

The experienced striker’s set-back is the latest one on a long list of injuries that have burdened the squad this season.

It has left Di Paola’s side without a recognised forward after Liam MacDevitt left the club for Greenwich Borough and Tony Nwachukwu has had a stop-start return to the club with numerous niggles.

Darren Boswell has missed a huge chunk of the season, Ollie Gill and Lee Carney have faced spells out, while Mark Knee and Adam Hunt are yet to feature.

Despite that, Horsham’s 3-0 loss at Walton Casuals on Saturday was the first time they have failed to hit the back of the net in the Ryman League in 22 matches and they sit in a mid-table position, 13th.

The Hornets manager has praised his team’s efforts during a difficult season back at this level and compared their place in the table to an also injury-stricken Bridges.

He said: “There are not many games when we have lost that it has been by more than one or two goals. Credit to the boys for that as they have worked so hard for that.

“We are just having no luck at the moment with the amount of injuries we have - they have crippled us. Three Bridges have a really good squad and have been hampered by injuries, but look at where we are in table compared to where they are.

“That is credit to our squad, they deserve a lot of credit for how they have done that. We are not feeling sorry for ourselves and are not too disheartened.

“I think a lot of things have conspired against us this season, but that is life and you have to take the rough with the smooth.”

Another major set-back is news that Dodd, who suffered a dislocated knee and ligament damage at the end of October, could be out for the season.

The Hornets are searching to bolster their attacking options, but are finding budget constraints an obstacle. Di Paola said: “Terry has been told he will be out for six to eights weeks. He’s going to be out realistically for the season, by the time he is back, there won’t be much left by the time he is fit.

“It’s a massive blow for him, but no different to the rest of the season for us with the injury woes.

“We had Tony Nwachukwu sign, only for him to break down God knows how many times. It’s been that sort of season. Lee Carney has missed five matches in a row with a hamstring problem.

“We had a decent little spell and were winning a few but then have had to play six or seven of the top teams in a row when we are decimated by injuries.

“We have been talking to strikers and are on the look-out, but for a decent one at this level, they want £150 a week to come and play for us and we have not got the funds for that.”

Horsham host Ramsgate on Saturday and Di Paola added: “Despite not picking up many points, we have not really moved in the table. The league is definitely getting a shape to it now with a top and a bottom.”

“We have Ramsgate, Herne Bay and Godalming which are three big games as we have not really played anyone in the bottom half for quite a while.”

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