Tiverton Town manager Mark Saunders sorry to see Kendall join Truro
Tiverton Town manager Mark Saunders is facing up to a central defensive shortage this week after losing two of his key players.
Influential skipper Paul Kendall has left to join Truro City, while Kevin Hill, who replaced Kendall at centre-back in the 2-0 Evo-Stik League defeat at Wimborne Town last Saturday, has been ruled out with a hamstring injury.
The news could not have come at a worse time for Saunders, who is looking to halt a run of ten games without a win as he tries to re-ignite the Yellows' push for a play-off place.
Having been top of the table in November, Tiverton find themselves in ninth place and facing matches against fellow promotions chasers Shortwood United tonight and Cirencester Town on Saturday. Saunders admits they need their luck to change.
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"Things were going for us at the start of the season they are not going for us now," he said.
"Paul Kendall is a massive loss because he wears his heart on his sleeve and he puts his head in the way.
"Then you are thinking you have got someone with Kevin Hill's experience to put in there and 20 minutes later he has done his hamstring.
"Hopefully we took him off in time, so he won't be out for too long."
Saunders added that Kendall was enjoying his football at Tiverton but was offered too good a deal by Truro, who are battling for survival in Blue Square Bet South.
Kendall joined Tiverton in November 2009, having been sacked by Plymouth Argyle as a youngster for missing a drugs test, which also saw him serve a lengthy ban from the game. He has linked up with former Argyle stalwart Lee Hodges, who is Truro's player-manager.
"He goes there with our thanks, really," Saunders added. "They [Truro] just gave him an offer that he could not refuse to turn down.
"He has only got a little job, really, where he doesn't get paid that much. He is on an apprentice wage and they chucked a fair amount of money at him so he can't really turn it down, as much as he loved playing where he was."
Saunders moved right-back Adam Faux into central defence for the remainder of the Wimborne game, While that offers a make-shift solution until Hill is fit again, Saunders admitted he has bigger problems to worry about.
"I'm more worried that we can't pass the ball to each other," the Ladysmead boss added.
"You change the formation and you make changes to the team, but it is like the plague at the moment, it seems to be running through the side."