THE fact that Darlington have already used 30 players in 13 games is an indication of just how traumatic their season has been, with Quakers limping from one game to the next.

They finally kick-started their campaign with a win last week, but the number of players used will increase again today with two more making their debuts.

Manager Steve Stanton is giving first appearances to James Collins and David Davis at Barnet, where Quakers will aim to maintain the momentum created last weekend.

That 2-1 victory against Shrewsbury Town was a much-needed morale boost but it also represented an end to the short Quakers careers of three players.

Staunton’s first home game in charge was the last that supporters saw of Russell Hoult and Kevin Gall, while Jamie Devitt returned to Hull City before, ironically, joining Shrewsbury.

He could come up against Hoult next weekend when the Shrews travel to Notts County, who turned down Staunton’s request to extend the goalkeeper’s loan as Kasper Schmeichel is carrying an injury.

Staunton has been able to add reinforcements in the form of Collins and Davis, who take the number of loans at Darlington this season to an astonishing 11.

Not that Staunton is too concerned. He was delighted to take 18-year-old Collins for three months from Aston Villa.

“He’s rough around the edges but he knows where the back of the net is,” said Staunton, who has also signed French striker Mor Diop. But a minor injury keeps him out of action at Underhill.

“James is a strong boy so will be able to cope with the physical side of the game in our division, and he knows what the game is all about because he’s had a very good grounding at Aston Villa.

“They have a very good Academy there, I know the people that run it and I know the reserve team manager very well. I know how he plays the game and that’s very similar to myself.

“So James shouldn’t find things too different here. The main difference will be the pitches because he’s used to playing on carpets at Villa!”

With Gary Smith injured, and missing today for the first time this season, Davis will slot into midfield and Staunton is expecting big things of the 18-year-old.

He said: “We’ve also brought in David from Wolves because of Gary’s injury.

He’s here for a month with a view to taking him for longer.

“I saw him play against Arsenal’s reserves on Tuesday and he’s combative, he’s excellent on the ball, he’s strong and he’s a good passer. So I think our fans will be quite impressed with him.”

A win at ninth-placed Barnet, who are unbeaten at home, would not lift Darlington off the bottom of the table but it would raise hopes that Quakers could climb out of the bottom two.

Such hopes received a boost thanks to last weekend’s win, but Staunton aims to further strengthen his squad.

“Four have left so we had to get bodies in,” explained Staunton, who this week saw Tony Kane return to Carlisle United following the end of his loan. “Unfortunately there were one or two that we had no control over.

“We’ve had to strengthen in areas that we identified straightaway but we’re going to be looking to strengthen the squad as we go forward.

“We know the financial situation but we’ll work the market.

“Wolves and Villa have been very good to us and hopefully the players that we’re bringing in will add that little bit more quality.”

On last week’s showing Devitt could certainly be classed as quality, but Staunton hopes the 19-year-old’s absence will not be an issue, while the manager wants to see more of the team’s dedication.

“I thought Jamie played well but I also thought there were many good performances that allowed him to play well. You need flair players, but you have to grind out results in this league and we’ve got players that are determined to do that so hopefully he won’t be missed.”