YORK City manager Jackie McNamara could take young guns Bradley Fewster and Lubo Satka out of the firing line as he assesses their mental and physical fatigue.
The 20-year-old pair, who are on loan from Middlesbrough and Newcastle respectively, have started the Minstermen’s last four games during a busy 11-day period.
Both could now be rested for tomorrow’s home game against Luton with McNamara guarding against the threat of burn-out.
Satka is also doubtful due to an ankle problem and the City chief said: “We have got to make sure people are fresh enough to put in a shift and help the team be successful.
“Brad Fewster has played the last four games and I’ve got to think about whether we’re asking too much of the young players.”
Huddersfield defender Will Boyle is expected to replace Satka in the centre of City’s defence having returned to Bootham Crescent on loan until the end of the season.
On recruiting Boyle again, McNamara added: “I wanted to keep him from day one, so I’m delighted to bring him back. I thought he was excellent before.
“He was aggressive in the air and a very good talker for a young player and, hopefully, he will play a big part in the remaining games.”
Top scorer Vadaine Oliver is also expected to start after featuring from the bench during Tuesday night’s 2-1 home defeat to Northampton following a hip problem and tonsillitis, but McNamara has told the nine-goal marksman he must fight to justify his selection.
“I thought Vadaine did OK (against Northampton),” the City boss reasoned. “He held the ball up better than he has in other games, but he has competition now with Brad Fewster scoring goals, Jake Hyde coming back in and Reece Thompson being around.
“I want them scoring and pushing each other, so they’re busting to take their chances in the team and keep their shirt. The same applies to the rest of the squad.”
McNamara is mulling over whether to include Josh Carson in his first XI, meanwhile, having handed the former Northern Ireland international his first start since the end of September.
“Josh did OK and his attitude in training has been first class,” McNamara said. “I still think he can get sharper but, maybe, that’s a big ask as he hasn’t played many games.”
Despite Luton’s position nine points adrift of the play-off positions and 15 clear of the relegation zone, McNamara is not expecting an unmotivated visiting team, pointing out: “I imagine they have players fighting for contracts or bonuses and it’s very rare you see any team downing tools.
“Our need for three points is probably greater than theirs, but I’m sure their manager and players won’t see it that way.”