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Lawless will be goal threat – Harvey

By This is Gloucestershire  |  Posted: July 18, 2008

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JIM HARVEY is tipping Alex Lawless to be a goal threat for Forest Green this season.

The versatile Welshman was Rovers' unsung hero in 2007-08, excelling at right-back and in midfield, but he has started the first two pre-season matches as a support striker to Andy Mangan.

It remains to be seen whether he will occupy the same role in tomorrow's friendly against Wycombe Wanderers at the New Lawn (3pm), but his manager is more than pleased to have the option.

“Alex has certainly got the ability to play in the attacking third, where you need to use your brain,” said Harvey.

“Pre-season is a good time to try things and I think he's done very well against two excellent sides in Reading and Bristol City.

“He probably suffers for being able to play in several positions, as people don't appreciate what a good player he is.

“But he's getting better and better and I'm expecting big things from him this year, including a few more goals.”

Where Lawless lines up tomorrow could depend on the fitness of new signing Conal Platt, who can play in 'the hole' but missed Tuesday night's 2-0 defeat to Reading with an ankle injury.

He is rated 50-50 for the game, but midfielder Simon Clist (quad) is unlikely to be risked and Mark Preece (hernia) and Adriano Rigoglioso (knee) remain on the sidelines following operations.

Wycombe are now under the management of ex-England Under-21 boss Peter Taylor, who had an unsuccessful stint in charge of Rovers' Blue Square Premier rivals Stevenage Borough last term.

They are expected to bring a full-strength squad to Nailsworth, with former Fulham defender Adam Green on trial with the Coca-Cola League Two side.

Harvey's search for a specialist right-back continues, with at least one trialists expected to join the impressive Hartpury College contingent in his party.

FOREST GREEN (FROM): R. Robinson, T. Burton, D. Jones, J. Hardiker, B. Ashford, P. Stonehouse, A. Lawless, J. Pitman, L. Fowler, J. Smith, L. Afful, C. McDonald, C. Platt, A. Mangan, K. Mohamed, L. Molyneaux, S. Mensah, M. Shaxton, I. Shaze, M. Symons.

l TOMORROW'S match against Wycombe is a Kids Go Free fixture, meaning all Under-16s will be admitted to the New Lawn without charge when accompanied by a paying adult.

Adults who paid the full price to see Bristol City and Reading should have been issued with a voucher entitling them to free entry.

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