Liddiard tipped to reap loan benefits
FRESH from a spell learning the 'tricks of the trade' during a loan stint at Bishop's Cleeve, midfielder Matt Liddiard will be given a chance to impress for Gloucester City against Guiseley tomorrow.
The Hartpury College student has spent the last two months with the Villagers being taught about the dark arts of midfield play by former City legend Matt Rose.
And with midfield regulars Tom Webb and Lewis Hogg both suspended for the visit of the high-flying Lions, City boss Dave Mehew will get the chance to view Liddiard's development at close quarters.
"Matt Liddiard comes back into the squad and he's really benefited from getting a number of games under his belt in proper football," Mehew said.
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"At the start he was probably a bit too used to playing colleges and development football but I think playing at Cleeve has helped him no end.
"I've had good reports about him from Alex Sykes and Matt Rose at Cleeve and he will probably go back there to continue learning his trade when we're back to full strength.
"I spoke to Rosey when he went to Cleeve in the first place about him teaching Matt some of the tricks of the trade, as it were.
"He needed that and it will be interesting to see how he does in that holding role against a good Guiseley side."
Captain Matt Coupe will also be missing for the visit of second-placed Guiseley as, like Webb, he serves a one-match ban for accumulating five cautions.
Tom Hamblin is pushing for a recall to the side after injury, with Mehew hoping he comes through a late fitness test alongside fellow defender Mike Green.
If both or either of the pair miss the game, the City boss may be forced into some major corrective surgery within his thread-bare squad.
Loan signings Danny Andrew and Bagasan Graham are set for their first home starts after impressing in last week's 2-1 win at Vauxhall Motors, with Mehew praising the pair for their impact on Merseyside.
"Sometimes you do have to give credit to the players and we came through well at Vauxhall," Mehew said.
"The two lads from Cheltenham gave us a lift and that certainly played a part in us getting the win and I've got to be pleased overall.
"We've got six points from nine and we've done that with three subs on the bench, two of whom haven't really played a lot of football.
"I have got to be happy with that return and we go into Saturday without any fear, although it is going to be very tough.
"If we can get this game out of the way then it clears us to have a suspension-free time of it from Boxing Day onwards, which will be a good thing.
"But if we can keep grinding out these results until we get our players back from injury and suspension then all the better."