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Ardley: "There will be changes"

Boss set to hand out opportunities this weekend

13 December 2019

Neal Ardley will be shaking up his starting 11 for our Buildbase FA Trophy trip to Chesterfield on Saturday.

We’re taking a break from league action to compete in our inaugural Trophy tie, which kicks off at the earlier time of 1pm.

And the boss is looking forward to handing an opportunity to those he feels deserve one.

“There will be a few changes,” revealed Ardley at his pre-match press conference. “There are lots of players who deserve the chance to play and show what they can do.

“This match also gives us the chance to give a breather to those who need it. We’ve got quite a few players who have been carrying niggles for a little while so we need to give opportunities to players who are champing at the bit to get minutes in their legs in the run up to Christmas.

“I’m not putting pressure on them, but I want them to show me they can at least ask questions of the ones that are in the team.”

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Jim O’Brien is one player in line for a return, while there could be a debut for centre back Alex Lacey.

The November signing’s pursuit of full fitness was hampered by injury recently, but Ardley expects his newest recruit to play some part at the Proact Stadium having been back in training for the last 10 days.

“That’s the aim, providing nothing happens between now and the game,” said the boss.

“He’s an experienced player who’s won promotion from the National League and League Two – he’s also won Player of the Year awards and played in League One.

“He’s got pedigree, he’s a good age and is hungry to do well after a tough summer when he was lined up to join Bury.

“If he does well, he’ll bring competition for Ben Turner and Connell Rawlinson who’ll know they'll have to make sure they’re on point to get picked.”

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While a pursuit of a play-off place remains Ardley’s main focus, he isn’t underestimating the potential positive impact of a victory this weekend.

“We haven’t won enough lately, so we will give it everything we can to try and stay in the competition,” he said.

“But, in the same vein, we have to make sure we finish the league season strongly.

“The battle for the top seven can go all the way to the end of the season and that’s what we want to be hanging in there for.”


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