HAVING been a standout player in Warrington Town’s promotion-winning season, a combination of long-term injury and the form of others has meant Evan Gumbs has found things more difficult this time around.

However, manager Mark Beesley has heaped praise upon the defender for his patience and ability to fight fires wherever needed.

Former Tranmere man Gumbs was voted as the club’s player of the year as Yellows earned a spot in the National League North having formed a formidable partnership with Tom Hannigan in the heart of defence.

A serious hernia injury sustained in August ruled him out of action for more than half of the current campaign and while he has now returned to fitness, he has found regular football harder to come by.

Hannigan and Peter Clarke are seemingly entrenched in the side at centre-half, with Andre Wisdom and Andy White in the full-back areas but a knee injury to the latter opened up a spot for Gumbs out of position at left-back.

He filled the role with distinction in Tuesday’s 2-0 win at Farsley Celtic, and Beesley says it is testament to the player and character he is.

“We all know how good a player Evan is, but he’s just had bad luck with injuries,” he said.

“To be out for five months of the season is a very long time and he’s still making his way back.

“In the meantime, others have done well in his place and he’s had to be patient, but he’s been great.

“He’s not going to play at left-back for 45 games but he’s more than capable of doing a job there for us.”

White’s fitness will once again be assessed ahead of Saturday’s home game against Gloucester City as will that of forward Matty Grivosti, who has been nursing an ankle problem.

However, Town have been boosted by news that Polish youngster Kacper Pasiek's loan from Preston North End has been extended until the end of the season.

The Tigers arrive in Warrington looking to keep their faint hopes of avoiding relegation alive – they are 11 points from safety with eight games of their season remaining – but after they pushed champions-elect Tamworth all the way in midweek, leading 1-0 before losing 2-1 via a last-minute goal, Beesley knows they will “have a right go” at his side.

And having watched his side lose their last home game against Southport, the Town boss is keen to see his players put on a performance for the Cantilever Park faithful as they bid to keep their hopes of an unlikely play-off spot alive.

“We didn’t win our last home game, so it’s important we dust ourselves down,” he said.

“We’ll have a light session on Thursday and do our homework on Gloucester, who will come and have a right go at us so we’ve got to be ready for that.

“We’ve got to put a similar type of performance to Tuesday out there on Saturday.”