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All hands on deck

Ardley looking no further than Maidenhead as treatment table gets busy

24 December 2019

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With injuries mounting up, Neal Ardley says we need to take each game as it comes over the festive period.

Jim O’Brien, Regan Booty, Ben Turner and Sam Slocombe all missed out at the weekend, and Mitch Rose, Sean Shields and Richard Brindley were all forced off with knocks during the win over FC Halifax Town.

And, with Maidenhead visiting Meadow Lane on Boxing Day, the boss says we can’t look any further down the line.

“It’s hard to plan because you don’t know who you’re going to lose through injury,” he admitted.

“The toughest part is that we’ve had a bit of a crisis and the timing couldn’t be worse.

“It’s a big blow because then you have to churn out the same players and so the best way is to make sure you get training right and prepare for the first game.

“We’ve done the fitness work. Now it’s about getting all hands on deck and doing whatever we can to win the first game.

“We have to put in a high level of performance against Maidenhead, and then we’ll pick up the pieces and see who is available for Solihull on Saturday.”

Ardley at Chesterfield in trophy.png

A boost for the manager has been the form of Alex Lacey, who made his long-awaited debut at Chesterfield and started his first league game at Halifax.

“He was excellent on Saturday,” said Ardley. “Two games, two wins and you can’t argue with that.

“When he came in, the physios said we’d need three or four weeks with him before he’d be ready to play, so we put him on a programme to strengthen him up.

“He had a slight strain in his hamstring which set us back, but hopefully that period and the work we did with him means he’s ready to get through a run of games.”

Ardley in dugout v Hartlepool.png

Maidenhead have won two and lost two of their last four, showing just how unpredictable the Vanarama National League can be, and the boss knows we need to replicate what we produced in the second half at the Shay.

“Anyone can beat anyone in this league if they’re at it,” explained Ardley. “Nothing’s easy at this level.

“It’ll be a tough game. Maidenhead have a way of doing things and it’s intense, so they’ll make it very difficult for us in their pressing and with their work rate.

“We have to take the second half performance from Halifax, carry that into the game and get our home crowd behind us.”

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