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Forest Green: Lee Hughes ready for debut against Hereford United

By The Citizen  |  Posted: January 09, 2014

Lee Hughes

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Stellar signing Lee Hughes is fit and raring to make his Forest Green debut tonight.

Out of action since a 1-0 defeat at Hereford United on December 28, Rovers host the same opponents in front of the BT Sport cameras this evening (7.30pm).

All eyes will be on 37-year-old Hughes, who has moved to the New Lawn on an 18-month deal from Port Vale.

The one-time £5 million striker has started only six League One games this season, making seven further substitute appearances and scoring three goals.

But Rovers boss Ady Pennock has been hugely impressed with his new recruit in training and is ready to hand him a starting berth against the Bulls.

Pennock said: “Lee is a very fit boy who looks after himself really well.

“He was in and out of the team at Port Vale, so it’s not as if he is totally lacking in match fitness.

“His attitude and application in training has been first class and he has already had a great effect on rest of the lads the changing room.

“He is more than ready to go and is a natural goalscorer, which is what we have been lacking in our last few games when we’ve created lots of chances.”

The dreadful weather that accounted for Forest Green’s last two fixtures has also forced them to train indoors this week, with the club making use of the impressive new Inside Football facilities at Brimscombe.

But the 11-day sabbatical has enabled Jamie Turley and Yan Klukowski to return to training after respective groin and thigh injuries, although both may have to be content with seats on the bench tonight.

Jared Hodgkiss is still struggling with a shin problem, meaning Ed Asafu-Adjaye is likely to switch from left-back to his preferred position on the right.

That will enable new loan recruit Jerome Binnom-Williams to make his debut, and Pennock is eager to unleash the Crystal Palace teenager on the Skrill Premier.

“Jerome has got a lot of talent and I’m itching to see what he can do for us,” he said.

“He would have played in the last two games had it not been for the weather so hopefully it will be a case of third time lucky for him.”

Kieron Forbes will miss this evening’s clash due to a bruised foot and fellow midfielder Paul Green completes a three-match ban.

Cash-strapped Hereford have lost the services of Damon Lathrope, who has returned to parent club Torquay United after a successful month on loan at Edgar Street.

That could pave the way for former Cheltenham Town starlet Jamie Edge – signed by Arsenal as a 15-year-old in 2009 – to make his first start for the visitors.

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