WHITEHAVEN reportedly have several injury concerns ahead of the big League One game at York City Knights on Sunday - although a number of players who were said to be doubtful are in the squad.

Skipper Marc Shackley and highly-rated half-back Callum Phillips were among those supposedly struggling, while strong-running winger Dave Thompson's availability is in question - but all three are in the 19-man travelling party.

Forward Scott McAvoy, Lewis Brown (shoulder) and centre Chris Taylor (knee) are definitely out, although James Tilley returns after missing last week’s narrow win over Coventry Bears through work commitments.

Also involved is half-back Steve Roper, who is back in Cumbria after spending most of the season at North Wales. Roper was the man who landed the field goal to win last year's epic play-off semi-final between the teams.

Player-coach Carl Forster - who is leaving Haven at the end of this season - said: “Shacks has been troubled with his shoulder for most of the season but took a really bad bang on it against Coventry.

“Callum is another who has been playing with knocks and he is nursing a hamstring at the moment, again aggravated against Coventry.

“Dave didn’t play last week because his partner was due to give birth and that didn’t happen so he’s more or less in the same situation, unless things change before Sunday.

“In addition Scott McAvoy, who wasn’t used last week, is still struggling with knocks he has accumulated over the last few weeks.”

Defeats tomorrow for Oldham at London Skolars and Hunslet at Coventry would leave Haven in fifth (the last play-off spot), whatever happens on Sunday - but those results are unlikely, meaning the Cumbrians would need to win to reach the play-offs.

As such, the club are said to be taking two coaches of supporters to Bootham Crescent for a vital game for both teams - with the Knights of course needing victory to secure the title.

Forster marked his final home game as player-boss with a hat-trick - including a winner three minutes from time to help his side eke past minnows Coventry 24-20.

That performance, a week after a high-quality win at play-off foes Hunslet, might suggest Haven had one eye on this weekend's fixture.

Knights boss James Ford said: "We're aware Whitehaven are a quality side and that if we don't play to our potential they have the ability to turn us over.

"Against Hunslet they played very well. Against Coventry, you have to give Coventry credit - they're an improving side. But Whitehaven showed their mettle by getting out of jail with a big play from a big player."

He added: "They've got some individuals who are hard to handle - Jessie Joe Parker (now called Nandye) and Dion Aiye are two of those. Dan Abram is really lively, similar in some ways to Ash Robson, and in the middle they have a big set of forwards.

"We need to make sure our defensive intensity and contacts are where they've been all season."

Whitehaven (from): Abram, Burns, Nandye, Mossop, D Thompson, Phillips, Roper, Shackley, Eaves, Forster, Holliday, Gillam, Aiye, Green, Howarth, Mossop, Coward, Tilley, J Thompson, Herve.