Croft: We missed Earnshaw and Huckerby

PUBLISHED: 06:45 30 October 2006 | UPDATED: 09:46 14 September 2010

Lee Croft cut a disconsolate figure as he left the Britannia Stadium admitting that the absence of his fellow strikers played a part in City's downfall.

Lee Croft cut a disconsolate figure as he left the Britannia Stadium admitting that the absence of his fellow strikers played a part in City's downfall.

Croft was the only one of City's striking trio to play, Darren Huckerby still nursing a back injury and leading scorer Robert Earnshaw out with a rib injury.

And the 21-year-old right winger wasn't exactly a picture of health himself, still feeling the effects of a late knock.

“I don't know whether it was a kick or a twist,” said Croft, who is likely to know more today.

What was clear, even if not everyone likes to admit it, is that Huckerby and Earnshaw were sorely missed.

“I am not saying the lads who came in didn't do well or didn't do their jobs, but obviously Darren and Earnie are a great loss and we missed them,” said Croft. “But we have to have the squad and the players to come in and do it so it is down to us when people aren't fit to carry on, so we can't make excuses.”

The absences necessitated a change of formation, but Croft insisted the quality was there to cope with that.

“I don't think you can blame that,” he said. “We had Darren and Earnie out, but we should have the personnel to come in and do a job so we can't blame it on that - I just think we lost the man today and didn't really start very well. It's just really disappointing.”

“They had an extra man all over the pitch and it went from bad to worse really.

“I think the manager is really disappointed. It's the first loss under him and the lads are all devastated, especially in the fashion we lost - it is not good enough, and we have to bounce back.

“We've got Colchester on Tuesday and then another home game against Sunderland, so hopefully we can get another two wins at home.”

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