Garbutt back to boost Robins

PA Sport
Luke Garbutt
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Luke Garbutt

Luke Garbutt will make a timely return to Cheltenham's starting line-up as they take on Crewe in the npower League Two play-off final at Wembley.

The on-loan Everton left-back missed both legs of the Robins' semi-final meetings with Torquay due to a muscle strain, but has declared himself fit for Sunday's promotion decider.

He said: "I've been out for two weeks and I was back in training (on Monday). It was my first training session and I'm back fit for the play-off final now."

Keith Lowe deputised for Garbutt for both games against the Gulls, Mark Yates' men triumphing 4-1 on aggregate, but the 26-year-old may have to be content with a place on the bench at the national stadium.

With Garbutt back in action, Yates has a full squad at his disposal as he muses over which combination of 11 men will best match the Railwaymen to seal a return to League One after a three-year absence.

Garbutt revealed he is putting England duty on the back burner in a bid to help steer Cheltenham to play-off final glory.

The defender was called up for Under-19 action as the Young Lions face a crucial triple-header against Slovenia, Montenegro and Switzerland. But a fixture clash means Garbutt has put Town's promotion tilt first and his fledgling international career to one side for the time being.

Garbutt, who has represented England at Under-16, 17, 18 and 19 level, said: "I've spoken to both the gaffer at Cheltenham and the England manager (Noel Blake), and throughout all conversations they didn't want to not allow me to have that chance of playing at Wembley in the play-offs.

"Obviously as a player you don't get many opportunities, either to play at Wembley or in a play-off final. So for those two to come in my first full season being in a first team, it's one I want to cherish and be part of. He (Blake) didn't want to not let me have that opportunity."

Garbutt added: "I gave my views upon it and the gaffer (Yates) really wanted me to stay and play in the play-offs, so England said we're not going to let your opportunity go to waste."

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