Exclusive: Arbroath FC boss Dick Campbell bracing himself for Joel Nouble exit
Arbroath FC boss Dick Campbell is bracing himself for losing strike sensation Joel Nouble to parent club Livingston over the next few weeks.
Nouble, 25, has scored three and made three assists in part-time Arbroath’s stunning start to the Scottish Championship season which has them third with 15 points after eight games.
"Nouble is on loan and don’t kid on that nobody’s noticing how he’s playing,” Campbell told the Angus County Press. "He’s quick, he’s the best I’ve signed in 30 years at taking you up the park. When the ball goes to him it’s like a magnet.
"Gone are the days when you judge strikers by how many assists and how many goals they get.
"It’s how many times they take you up the park and he’s number one at it in our league.
"You don’t have to be a mind reader to think that Livingston are going to come back for him, aren’t they?
"It doesn’t matter that he’s on loan for the whole season. There’s always a clause that Livingston could take him back any time.
"I’m not worried about losing Nouble because I would do the same if I was David Martindale (Livi manager).
"My job is to replace him and find somebody better.”
Nouble was missing with a shoulder injury as Arbroath drew 2-2 at Morton in their latest league game on Saturday.
Although Colin Hamilton headed in a 43rd minute Michael McKenna free-kick to give Arbroath a 1-0 half-time lead, two quickfire Morton goals in the second half by Gary Oliver and Cameron Blues put Ton 2-1 up.
Arbroath earned a point on 86 minutes when McKenna netted a penalty awarded by referee Craig Napier after Hamilton was caught in the face following a corner.
“Nicky Lowe and Joel Nouble have been our best two players this season and they weren’t available,” Campbell said. "I was quite concerned about it but equally looking forward to players who hadn’t been playing taking their place.
"And I thought they were outstanding. I thought the only way we were going to lose anything was by stupidity.
"And the two goals we lost could have been prevented. We should have cleared the ball.
"You go 1-0 up at half-time, not against the run of play, we were well on top.
"Then we lose two goals in five minutes in the second half and from then it was just waves of attack from ourselves.
"So we were very worthy of the point I would say.”
Arbroath’s lofty position sees them looking down on seven Championship clubs, with the Red Lichties having a free weekend this Saturday before returning to league action at Raith Rovers on Saturday, October 16.
Campbell said: “We have got one more game a week on Saturday to finish the first quarter and then we’ll have a look at the whole thing.
"The next quarter finishes on January 6 and hopefully we’ll be sitting in third place then too. I’ve definitely got good players.”
Campbell said that, although Nouble’s shoulder is “hanging by a thread” there’s a good chance he could make the Raith game, but Lowe is out for “several weeks” with an ankle ligament injury.