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Torquay United hope to avoid having absentees in attack against Northampton

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: December 12, 2012

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Torquay United are optimistic that forwards Billy Bodin and Rene Howe will be fit to face Northampton Town on Saturday after they both limped away from last weekend's 1-0 npower League Two defeat at Bradford City.

The reverse at Valley Parade was costly enough, with centre-back Brian Saah's dismissal earning him a three-match suspension as well as three points lost to a play-off rival.

However, Bodin was also withdrawn midway through the first half with an ankle injury, and Howe did well to see out the 90 minutes after going down with a knee problem early in the game.

Neither joined in a gym session yesterday, but club physiotherapist Damian Davey is hopeful that the pair will be available for selection against the Cobblers.

Yesterday, Davey explained: "We've got Billy in a [protective] boot at the moment, but his ankle should settle down and we're aiming for Saturday with him.

"Rene did only upper body work yesterday, but that's mainly a precaution. He already feels much better than he did at the weekend.

"There are times when players will put a brave face on things, because they don't want to come out of the side, and you have to be careful with them then. But I'm hopeful that Billy and Rene will be OK," Davey added.

United still have Ian Morris (Achilles tendon) and Lloyd Macklin (broken metatarsal) on the sidelines, but manager Martin Ling will have both right-back Joe Oastler plus midfielder and skipper Lee Mansell back from suspension this weekend.

Torquay's opponents at Plainmoor on Saturday, Northampton, have lost three games in a row in all competitions. The Cobblers' most recent reverse was a 3-2 home defeat to Cheltenham Town last Saturday, when they let slip a two-goal lead.

Former Plymouth Argyle youth-team player Ben Tozer is now a regular in Northampton's first team. After the setback against Cheltenham, the defender said: "The game has gone and we've got to focus on next Saturday. It's gone and we can't do anything about it.

"We've got to be positive. I don't think we played badly, but we threw away a two-goal lead. We were on top by far but it just turned. Even at 2-2 we were, by far, the better team. They had one shot in the second half and they scored, so it is so frustrating."

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