Naysmith has now revealed that they’re all expected to be long-term absences and might not be able to contribute any more in season 2021-22.
It’s been a frustratingly familiar theme for the ex-Scottish international as his side have consistently been forced to play with shallow squads due to a seemingly never-ending stretch of injury woes.
Speaking ahead of Saturday’s crunch encounter with Stenhousemuir at Ochilview, Naysmith explained he could be without up to seven first-team players.
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“It looks like we’ll be doing well to get Jack Brydon, Danny Jardine or John Robertson back before the end of the season. So that’s three big blows for us,” he told the Evening News. “And Robbie McIntyre hasn’t rejoined training yet, so out of a 20-man squad, even without taking into account any knocks and aches, that’s three or four big players out for the foreseeable future.
"We’re still not sure whether Callum Crane, Callum Tapping or Lee Hamilton will make it this week. They’ll be last-minute decisions, so that’s another three added on to the four.
“It is what it is. Injuries have hampered us all season. If you look at Saturday’s game against Albion Rovers, it was a perfect example. We had a really good starting XI on the park, but I didn’t feel like we had anyone on the bench who could change things in an attacking sense. Even if the lads are performing, they’re not going to be at their best all the time. We’ve been lacking that strength in depth.”
The match against Stenhousemuir sees the teams meet for the second time in the space of 10 days after the 1-1 draw at Ainslie Park last week when Thomas Orr cancelled out Brydon’s opener at the end of the first half.
City go into the match knowing a victory would send them six points clear of Stephen Swift’s hosts in the race for the final play-off spot in cinch League Two with seven games left to play.
“I thought we played quite well last time. The first 35 minutes we were on top, scored, then in the last ten minutes we allowed them back into the game. The second half we had to defend a bit more but we did that very well,” said Naysmith.
“There’s not much different we’re expecting from our point of view. I saw their game against Kelty in midweek. They played the same formation with roughly the same personnel. When you get to the fourth game of the season there are many secrets from each other.
“They can play football but they can also be physical if they need to be. We’ll have to be at our best if we want to win the match.”