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Handyside Return?

By: Rob Sedgwick
Date: 04/09/2000

Peter Handyside may feature in tomorrow night's 1st round 2nd leg Worthington Cup tie at Carlisle. If Handyside plays it will be the first time that the Scottish central defender has featured in a competitive game since the end of the 1998-1999 season.

An ankle injury sustained on a pre-season tour of Ireland at the start of last season has kept Handyside out ever since, but his comeback is on full course.

The former Scottish under-21 international has started in the last two reserve outings for the Mariners, although the most likely scenario at Carlisle is that Handyside will appear on the bench, rather than starting the game. Town take to the game a 2-0 lead from the 1st leg at Blundell Park two weeks ago, on the day Alan Buckley was sacked.

In the meantime Wayne Burnett, another long-term casualty, has been sent to Lilleshall for a week's intensive therapy in a last attempt by the club to prove Burnett's fitness.

Burnett, who is on a month-to-month contract at Blundell Park, has been out of action for the best part of two years with knee and thigh problems.

New manager Lennie Lawrence has had a few days to work with his squad after Saturday's game against Wimbledon was postponed, so he may have a few surprises up his sleeve. Whether Lawrence will continue to play a 3-5-2 system as he did at Crewe last week, after just a few hours in charge, remains to be seen.

According to our counterparts at 94thminute.com, Carlisle should have no injury doubts with injured duo Squires and Hemmings having returned to first team action on Saturday at Kidderminster, where the Cumbrians won 1-0.

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