NEWPORT County AFC go to Macclesfield tomorrow without Danny Crow after the striker was ruled out for up to three weeks.
Crow tore his hamstring during Tuesday’s 1-0 win over Ebbsfleet United and is likely to be out until November.
The news is a big blow to the Blue Square Bet Premier leaders with Crow having formed a brilliant partnership with top scorer Aaron O’Connor since the start of the season.
But assistant manager Jimmy Dack is looking on the bright side and says Crow’s injury gives Jefferson Louis a chance to re-establish himself in the Exiles’ starting XI.
“Danny Crow has got a grade one tear in his hamstring so it’s not too bad but he will be out for a couple of weeks,” explained Dack.
“It’s disappointing because he has played really well the last few weeks but it gives Jeff the chance to come in and take his opportunity.
“He has done well when he’s come on but we’ve got to remember Jeff is 33 so we’ve got to use him sparingly,” he added.
“He was hurting at Tamworth. He was really disappointed not to play but he didn’t sulk. He’s a good lad, a good professional and he works hard on and off the pitch.”
Manager Justin Edinburgh revealed that Crow had first sensed the injury in the warm-up on Tuesday night but Dack denied that it was a mistake to start the ex-Luton man against Ebbsfleet.
“He felt it in the warm-up and he didn’t want to miss a game. He wanted to play,” he said. “In hindsight he probably should have put his hand up and told us he did have a pull or a tear but players just want to play and we don’t knock them for that.”
While Crow will not feature tomorrow there is a chance that Lee Evans could return from his own hamstring injury and Dack is confident that County can keep their winning run going.
“Tuesday was probably the worst we’ve played but we ground out a 1-0 win and we’ve got to keep doing that,” he said.
“Saturday at Tamworth we were immense, probably the best we’ve played. It wasn’t as good on Tuesday but to play not so well and win is a good sign.
“But Macclesfield have got a really good side on paper and they’ll be up for it so we’ll have to be on our game to get a result there.”
Dack believes the players can cope with the added pressure of being the Conference pace-setters.
“There is extra pressure being top of the league, from the way other teams approach the game and from our own fans as well,” he said. “People are looking at us and seeing that we haven’t fallen away and we’re looking like the real deal.
“But I think that sometimes we’ve got to take a step back and realize that we were nearly a relegation team last year. We’ve come on a million miles this season but we’ve got to keep working hard and keep our feet on the ground.”