NEIL Harris paid tribute to his captain Tony Craig after the defender was forced off with a leg injury in the 0-0 draw with Bradford on Saturday.
Craig didn’t get to his feet after a last-ditch block tackle on James Hanson as the big striker shot from the edge of the box in the 55th minute of the game.
The defender was unable to put any weight on his left leg as he was helped off the pitch. Byron Webster came on in his place and also earned the praise of his boss for a physical display.
Harris is pleased his squad have a full week to recover and prepare for this Saturday’s FA Cup first round fixture against AFC Fylde at The Den after a congested recent run of fixtures involving three Tuesday night games this month.
But Craig is now a major doubt for that game.
“It was a great tackle, a great tackle,” Harris said. “He’s an outstanding captain who’s played really well this season and has been exceptional since he moved to centre-back.
“We need a little bit of rest and recovery now going into next Saturday. We’ve used a lot of the same players in the last month, really, and particularly in the last five games.
“It’s been a consistent side and it’s been a big effort. They’ve given me everything, as they always do. We’ve moved small steps in the right direction every single day, even (Saturday).”
Meanwhile, after goalkeeper Jordan Archer remarked on the noise levels at The Den against the Bantams, Harris wants his side to aim to elicit the same atmosphere at home for the rest of the season.
He said: “I didn’t think there was a lot of frustration in the ground, it was them willing their team to win. I think the atmosphere in The Den was fantastic and it reminded me of days when I played.
“I said to the boys that’s what we’ve got to re-create from now on.”