Boss expecting difficult day in Derbyshire
Town boss Paul Buckle revealed he won’t be rushed into making changes as his side chase a fourth straight win at Alfreton on Saturday.
Buckle has captain Ronnie Henry back from a three-match suspension but, given the Hatters’ fine form of late it presents the manager with one of those ‘nice’ selection headaches.
“I’m reluctant to make too many changes, we want to try and get some continuity,” he told the media at Thursday’s press conference.
“However at the same time I trust the players. They can adapt and a number of them are versatile to play in a number of positions.
“Alex Lawless is a prime example of that and has done very well for us.
“As I’ve said before we want to keep the opposition guessing. We’re not trying to be clever, we’ve done it to freshen it up. We look at the opposition and look at the areas where we can exploit. So far it’s been working very well.
“It’s nice though to know that the squad can cope with losing people like Ron or Jon Shaw.
“Ron is a big player for us. One of the reasons we brought him to the club because of the success he has had. He’s committed and one thing about Ron is he strives to earn clean sheets. It’s something I have to look at but I won’t be afraid to put him back in.
“Janos and Jon have had the armband in previous games and it’s great to give them the extra responsibility. We’re trying to create leaders.”
Alfreton haven’t enjoyed the best of starts to the season but despite not winning at home so far this term, Nicky Law’s side won 2-1 at Lincoln City on Tuesday night.
The Hatters only scored once against the Reds last term and drew 0-0 at the Impact Arena last April in what was Buckle’s second game in charge.
And, as ever, the boss isn’t expecting an easy ride in Derbyshire on Saturday afternoon.
“We have had reports on them but we’re concentrating on how we can hurt teams,” Buckle said.
“Against Cambridge we exploited the ball in behind them ; on Saturday we may need a different approach.
“But whatever approach we decide the work ethic and hunger of the players is always a fantastic foundation to work for and that’s something we can’t let go.
“We need to go to Alfreton and do the horrible things and be prepared to dig in. I’m sure they will come at us.
“Nobody holds back against us. Teams really do raise their game against us, especially at Kenilworth Road.
“When teams do that invariably it turns into a physical and mental battle. That’s is another thing I have been trying to install into the players.
“We need to be strong physically and mentally before we try and get the ball down and play and we’ll look to do our jobs professionally on Saturday.”
Three points for the Hatters could see them top the table come 5pm but Buckle isn’t too concerned with the state of the league table at this early juncture of the campaign.
“It is a bit of an incentive,” he said. “But it’s not something I’m looking at too much. For me it’s all about putting in performances and staying consistent and remaining focused.
“At this stage of the season you can be high one week and low the next.
“We’re just sticking together and working hard and if we do that we give ourselves a good chance of winning games and if we do that then we’ll be the near the top.”
Jon Shaw serves the last of a three-match suspension whilst Garry Richards, Danny Spiller and James Dance remain sidelined by injury.
Watch the manager’s press conference on Player.