Top scorer Rhys Murphy is being “let loose” on today’s FA Cup opponents Gateshead as he seeks to tune up for Tuesday night’s trip to Torquay United.

Boss Mark Cooper admitted the ten goal frontman was “gagging to play” having not featured in last weekend’s 2-0 win over Braintree United. 

He is paired alongside ex-Gulls’ frontman Frank Nouble with Exeter City loanee Sonny Cox dropped to the substitutes’ bench along with Jordan Young.

Speaking to BBC Somerset’s Sheridan Robins, the manager said: “With Tuesday night in mind, Murph’s had a really good rest and he’s gagging to play, so we let him loose today. Players just want to play, but I promised players like Murph and (Jake) Hyde that I would try and manage them and get them more minutes on the pitch and so far so good.

We have another massive game on Tuesday night and we need a real fresh front four then. We have to keep an eye on Tuesday, but we have to win today before we think about that. We can’t look at games and think we do this here and that there, we just have to take the next game.

Despite the rain having lashed down on Somerset throughout the week, the Huish Park surface has been passed fit to play and Cooper hopes that may not suit the passing game of the North East side.

Cooper said: “They are a really good footballing team, so it might suit us better than them, I don’t know. There has been an awful lot of rain, the last two games has been absolutely torrential rain from minute one, and it is still wet but it is playable.

These are not your normal non-League team because the style they play is like a League One side. The style they play is pure possession, really difficult to play against, so we have to be aggressive and relentless to make it an uncomfortable afternoon with them.

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