Ady Pennock is determined not to add to Barrow AFC’s extensive injury list – but wants his players to shape up, and fast.

Pennock has arrived at a club with four first-choice defenders on the sidelines, as well as their only out-and-out winger.

While full-back Dan Jones and central defender Moussa Diarra were able to take part in Pennock’s first training session at Hopwood Hall on Tuesday, Thierry Audel, Dave Nieskens and David Fitzpatrick are all still on the sidelines.

Jones and Diarra are set to return to action this month, after knee and hamstring problems respectively, while Pennock was pleased to speak with winger Fitzpatrick and learn he is three to four weeks away from his comeback from a meniscus tear on his knee.

Nieskens (knee) and Audel (broken arm) are further away, though Adi Yussuf has recently returned from a hamstring problem to good effect, netting his first senior hat-trick as Pennock took charge for the first time in the 3-1 win over Aldershot.

Bringing in a fitness coach is one of the new manager’s priorities among his back-room staff, as he looks to cut down on injury problems and improve the conditioning of the team as a whole, having highlighted fitness as a key area of concern.

“Training is so important,” said Pennock, who gave the players both Monday and Wednesday off this week after the exertions against the Shots. “We don’t want anyone injured, and that’s why it’s so important that we get a fitness coach in. They need to be conditioned to be a footballer for the whole season.

“I do believe they’re not conditioned at the moment, but they will be by the time we have finished with them.”

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