JOHN Coventry believes East Thurrock United are lacking ‘a cutting edge’ as a growing injury list continues to cause problems for his side.

Rocks have been made to contend with numerous key players being missing at regular stages of the new campaign.

East Thurrock have been without the likes of Mitch Gilbey, Andy Pugh and Billy Crook in recent weeks, leaving Coventry frustrated.

The Rocks boss said: “We can’t expect to win games of football at this level when you are without your best players.

“I have brought in the likes of Billy and Andy and I was confident that they would improve us.

“But they have both been on the sidelines after picking up injuries and so we’re back at square one.

“We need to get our best players back on the pitch because, without them, it is difficult and that would be the case for any club.

“We are lacking a cutting edge at the moment and that needs to be addressed quickly.”

Coventry was only able to take 13 players to Peterborough Sports for Rocks’ FA Cup first qualifying round replay on Tuesday.

And the lack of availability proved crucial as East Thurrock fell to a 3-2 defeat.

Frankie Merrifield cancelled out Daniel Lawlor’s sixth minute penalty for the hosts, but Peterborough restored their lead through Cameron Johnson on the stroke of half-time.

Dion Sembie Ferris gave the home side a two-goal cushion and, although Ayo Olukoga halved the deficit late on, it was not enough for Rocks.

However, Coventry felt there were some positives to take from the contest.

Coventry added: “We played well except for the first quarter of an hour.

“We got to the ground less than an hour before kick-off, so we got off to a slow start and it was like we were still on the bus for the first 15 minutes.

“We were all over the place in that time, where we also gave away a very debatable penalty, but then we started to settle down.

“We played some of our best football of the season in the second half, but there was no cutting edge.

“I don’t think we deserved to lose the game, but having no cutting edge was the issue.”

Despite the injury concerns, Coventry does not see going out of the FA Cup as a blessing in disguise.

Coventry admitted: “We have had fantastic FA Cup runs in the past and they have brought great funds into the club and also attracted big crowds.

“Despite our injury problems, I will never say that it is good to go out of the FA Cup because it brings a buzz.

“The opportunity to go on another FA Cup run has gone.

“Although it is good in one sense because that means less games and we already have a long injury list, I wouldn’t say that it is a blessing in disguise because we would have loved to have gone through.”