Rugby Town boss welcomes selection headache - The Rugby Observer

Rugby Town boss welcomes selection headache

Rugby Editorial 18th Feb, 2015 Updated: 27th Oct, 2016   0

RUGBY Town manager Dave Stinger admits he has a welcome selection headache ahead of this Saturday’s trip to Marlow as his side look to cement third consecutive appearance in the end-of-season play-offs.

With 12 games of their Southern League Division One Central campaign remaining, Town’s 3-1 victory at Leighton leaves them fourth in the table, three points behind third-placed Aylesbury.

Stringer is likely to have a full strength squad for the trip to the Alfred Davis Memorial Ground to face a Marlow who occupy 13th.

And although there is plenty of football left still to play, Stringer has conceded that the division’s top spot, and with it automatic promotion, is probably now beyond his side.

“We’re eight points off the leaders, and realistically that’s now out of reach – especially considering there are two other teams ahead of us too.” said Stringer. “But we have to stay focused and accumulate as many points as we can from the remaining fixtures.

“At this time of the season, it’s more about results than performances, but I thought we were excellent in the second half against Leighton and could easily have won by two or three more goals in the end.

“Admittedly we were not at it in the first half, but a few choice words at half-time seemed to have the desired effect and also the substitutions made a difference, so I was pleased with the way the lads responded.

Speaking about his new-found embarrassment of riches, Stringer continued: “A few weeks we were down to the bare bones, and the team virtually picked itself.

“Now we have everyone back, it means that tough decisions have to be made each match. The problem is that everyone thinks they should be playing, so it’s hard to keep them all happy. On the flip side, we saw at the weekend the benefits of having such a strong bench at our disposal.

“Hopefully we can keep this squad together for the remainder of the season, and finish off the job that we have come so close to in the previous two years. Our loyal fans deserve this for the support they have given us.”

It looks as though Stringer will see out the remainder of the campaign a man light on the touchline after assistant manager Craig Herbert departed the club last week.

Valley stalwart Herbert had only returned to Stringer’s backroom team at the start of the season after a break from the role due to family commitments in 2013/14, but has now decided to leave once more.

Stringer was full of praise for the man who also racked up more than 300 appearances in a Rugby shirt in a ten-year playing career at Butlin Road.

He added: “It’s disappointing that Craig has decided that he can’t continue. He’s been a fantastic servant of the club, and a great right hand man and friend to me in his two spells in my management team.

“With only twelve games to go, it would be difficult to expect someone to be able to come in to fill that role and settle quickly enough, so it’s likely that we will just complete the season as we are.”


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