Neal Ardley says upcoming league matches against Yeovil Town and Torquay United will influence his team selection for today’s Buildbase FA Trophy trip to Stockport.
The fourth-round tie is our first match since 28 December and every member of the squad is keen to get back to action.
But Ardley believes he may have to inflict some short-term pain in the interests of long-term gain.
“At the moment everyone’s champing at the bit but you have to look at the bigger picture,” said Ardley. “We have two weeks of Saturday-Tuesday matches and a busy schedule after that.
“I’m already looking at Yeovil (Tuesday) and which players might suit that game, and then on to the Torquay game.
“As much as the players are all champing now, I think anyone who’s given a breather in this game will thank me in the long run!”
Other than Inih Effiong (cup tied), Ben Turner (suspended), Cal Roberts (rehab) and Damien McCrory (injured), Ardley has a full squad to pick from including new arrival Calvin Miller.
And the boss is determined to guide his side to victory in order to reap psychological rewards.
“We want to win to breed the right mentality,” he said. “This is a good game against a very strong team which will give us an opportunity to learn more about ourselves.
“Then if we happen to go through to the next round and then the next, like we did last year, it becomes exciting and a really positive thing for the group.
“We’re looking forward to it – we just want to get out there and play football. Hopefully it’ll be an entertaining, end-to-end game with both teams trying to win it.”