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11 January 2013

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Assistant boss wary of Skelmersdale threat

It’s back to Cup action for the Hatters tomorrow afternoon when they welcome Skelmersdale United for an FA Trophy third round clash.

Barrow were brushed aside on Tuesday evening with a professional performance from the Hatters as they racked up an emphatic 6-1 scoreline, in the wake of another famous FA Cup giant killing against Wolves. 

As the fixture list clogs up for the Hatters as they continue to fight on all three trophy hunts, squad rotation is expected from the Hatters as they look to utilise their depth and continue to pursue silverware, something assistant boss Alan Neilson has complete confidence the squad can cope with.

“We know we have a good squad here now,” said Neilson when he spoke to the press on Thursday.

 “We will look at it Friday morning, see about all the injuries and fit players and take it from there. There's lads that are chomping at the bit like Dan Walker who trained Tuesday morning and scored four goals in a practice match against the youth lads.

“The commitment from the players at the moment is superb from the ones that are in the team, the ones on the bench and the ones in the squad.”

As congestion to the calendar continues to pile up after Cup progress and League cancellations, Neilson spoke of the importance of the squad players to come in and ensure they play their part for the club.

“Everyone can see our fixture log at the minute its very busy through the whole of January and the start of February,” Neilson said.

“We still have other games to fit in so it’s a time for the whole squad to play games, like I said before we will look at the players we have fit and the schedule and pick the team on that.

“The players know if you get in the team and play well you deserve to stay in it. In some circumstances that changes, but the majority of the time that's the case. You look at the Wolves team that went out at them and were absolutely superb, they had their chance, they took it and they were in the team for the league game on Tuesday and did it again as the scoreline showed.”

It’s a big month for the Hatters as league fixtures pile up knowing that if they take their chances it could be them who lead the charge for promotion after spending much of the season leading the chasing pack.

“We're in the two cups, the FA Cup and FA Trophy, and of course the league,” Neilson continued. “Yes we're behind on games but if we win those games in hand we can be top, every game we play we want to win it and I we have a squad that can do that.”

Manager Paul Buckle has been adamant since day one that the FA Trophy it is not a competition he see's lightly. His ambitions of winning the competition have been evident from the outset with his team selections and his theory of building on cup success seems to be working a charm. 

Neilson, who fielded questions with Buckle nursing a cold, remains firm that they are not taking the visit of Skelmersdale lightly and they have done the utmost to prepare for their visit.

“We've managed look at them,” said Neilson. “We've had a scout look at them, we've got match reports from their games, we've taken them very seriously.

“They've played 17 league games this season, 10 at home, won eight, drawn two; and seven away games, winning all seven. We know it's going to be a tough match. They're going to come here with their seven away wins from seven and. whatever league you’re at, that's a good record.

“The way we've looked at it is look at last Saturday when we played Wolves because it’s the same difference: three leagues are between each team, and we look at what happened Wolves – we beaten them so upsets do happen and we’ll be making sure it doesn’t happen to us. 

“We know we have got to be on our game, we have got to go out full throttle and I'm sure the gaffer will and the staff will make sure the players selected are really on it.”

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