LOWESTOFT Town director of football Craig Fleming insists the Blues will be able to cope with the loss of Curtley Williams with the defender starting a three-match suspension this weekend.

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The former Ipswich Town academy product has become one of the lynchpins of Fleming’s side since his arrival in December but his sending off against East Thurrock means he will now miss key fixtures against Enfield Town, Concord Rangers and Whitehawk.

While Fleming acknowledges his absence is a setback he believes the squad has enough quality to compensate for his loss.

“It’s a blow – Curtley’s been tremendous – we tried to get him at the start of the season but he went to South Africa,” he said. “Since he’s joined us he’s been brilliant.

“We’ve got other players that can come back in though. Scott Mitchell will be available again after a virus so Curtley will be missed but it’s not the be all and end all.”

An irresistible second half display at home to Canvey Island on Tuesday night saw the Blues climb into the play-off places thanks to goals from Lee Smith and Jack Defty.

Lowestoft have still got to eat into the six games in hand they have over leaders Whitehawk, who are 16 points ahead of them but Fleming is adamant his side do not get caught in the trap of looking too far ahead.

“We’ve always got to learn and I think last year we started to take our eye off the ball a little bit,” he said. “We started to look at the end goal rather than the next game.

“We are trying to go into each game and just totally focus on that and let everything else take care of itself.”

Williams is not the only defender Lowestoft will have to do without tomorrow with Adam Smith also struggling with a knee injury, which forced him to be substituted on Tuesday.

Dale Cockrill (knee) remains sidelined while Dan Gleeson’s recovery from a back operation has been slower than originally hoped.

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