WARRINGTON Town fans will have to wait “a little while longer” to see Evan Gumbs back in a Yellows shirt.

His return to the club on a permanent deal from Tranmere Rovers in the summer of 2020 after three successful loan spells was widely hailed, but injuries have hampered him since his arrival.

Serious knee and hamstring issues have seen him struggle and as a result, he has appeared just twice for Town since joining.

However, he is working his way back to fitness and having joined Northern Premier League West Division side Runcorn Linnets on loan, he is stringing regular games together.

He has started each of Linnets’ last nine games and Town boss Paul Carden believes he is approaching the kind of level he needs to be at.

Even with Mo Ali out for the rest of the season and Matt Regan currently deputising at left-back, however, he believes Gumbs still needs a few more games before returning to the fold.

“I’ve got to have a conversation with Ev,” Carden said of the 24-year-old.

“I went to watch him the other week, he’s playing regularly and I think it’s important for him to do that for a little while longer yet.

“We’ll see what he thinks of that and what Calum (McIntyre, Runcorn Linnets manager) says too. We’ll look over the situation and see what’s best suited for everyone.

“He’s played seven or eight full 90 minutes now at a club that’s been going well, so he’s getting up to around the level he needs to be to push to get back in our team.”

Even if he had been called back to Cantilever Park this week, Gumbs would have been unavailable for Town’s next fixture – the FA Trophy first round hosting of Chasetown FC on Saturday, kick off 3pm – due to having featured in both of his loan club’s qualifying matches.

A home tie against a side from the division below will naturally see Yellows installed as favourites, but their visitors arrive flying high in the NPL’s Midlands Division and keen to cause an upset.

With £3,000 in prize money on offer for victory and the prospect of National League North and South sides entering the competition in the next round, the incentives are clear.

“It’s another good competition where the games are good. It’s a priority for us,” Carden said.

“You’re playing different types of teams and Conference North clubs will come into it from the next round.

“It’s a competition we’ve done well in previously and at a base level, we want to win games.

“Whatever the competition might be, we just want to carry on winning.”