Andy Barcham expected to return for Scunthorpe United's clash with Carlisle United
ANDY Barcham is expected to be passed fit for Scunthorpe United's third consecutive home game tomorrow night.
The Iron winger missed Saturday's 2-1 victory over Crawley Town with a thigh problem picked up in the previous match against Portsmouth.
Short on back-up, front man Mike Grella was deployed in the wide left role – a system manager Brian Laws admits wasn't as effective as he'd hoped.
"I'm very confident Andy should be allright for Carlisle tomorrow," Laws said.
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"We tried Grella out there against Crawley, being positive with another striker.
"When you look at the two wide men and the strikers, they're very forward thinking.
"It didn't quite work as well as I'd hoped.
"Maybe Grella was trying a little bit too hard and things weren't working for him.
"When I put Jimmy Ryan out there we looked a little bit more solid and a bit more resilient.
"There was great play down that wide area, so maybe it's a rethink again for tomorrow."
Grella was replaced by Josh Walker on the hour mark against Crawley as the latter continued his comeback from an ankle injury.
Robbie Gibbons remains at least a fortnight away from returning to the fold due to illness, while Damien Mozika (hamstring) too, is sidelined.
Laws though, says United have adequate strength in depth, with the addition of Eddie Nolan on non-contract terms providing another option.
"Robbie is very close but he's had a little bit of a turn on his predicament," Laws explained.
"Again, it's a personal thing, but I'd like to assure everybody that he's fine.
"He's just on medication at this moment in time, which will probably give him another couple of weeks out of the equation.
"He's disappointed with that, but we've got to support him medically and make sure, for his welfare, that he's okay.
"Josh is helping us immensely. It's another quality player now available for us in midfield.
"And Eddie Nolan can drop in there if we need him to.
"It has strengthened that area, but we have to be proactive and reactive at the same time.
"When we get an injury, particularly in the main XI, that's the position we'll probably have to strengthen."
Nolan has been without a club since being released by Scunthorpe last summer. Laws though, is delighted the board have agreed to offer him something, even if the long-term future remains uncertain.
"Eddie Nolan has found himself in such a ridiculous situation," said the manager. "I'm shocked.
"However, I think football's turning that way, that even a 24-year-old international can't get a football club.
"He is desperately wanting to get back into the football side of things, but I think Eddie is helping us as much as we're going to help him.
"He gets his name back in the footballing aspect.
"He's only on a non-contract, so he finds himself in an unusual position. But in the meantime, he's supporting our defence because we are fairly weak on that side in numbers.
"He strengthens our bench.
"He's on a non-contract so he could move again tomorrow, but whilst he's been training with us he's enjoyed it and you never know what might happen.
"One thing's for sure, he's working hard to try to get into the team."