JOINT-manager Wayne Oliver believes his decision to axe Droitwich Spa’s reserve team in favour of bolstering the first team is starting to pay dividends.
Last Saturday, Spa overcame a virus – which struck down five players – and a disastrous start – which saw them concede twice inside the opening four minutes – to claim a 2-2 draw at Coton Green.
And Oliver admitted he did not think Droitwich would have been able to respond to such a ‘dilemma’ if they were stuck in a similar position last season.
When Oliver and Mark Owen took over the reins at Spa in September 2014 they had a squad of about 12 players and a reserve side to run as well.
But after closing the second string side, Oliver strengthened his playing squad with seven new additions and he told The Standard this move paid off at Coton Green.
“We had a bit of a dilemma on Saturday as a stomach bug had hit the squad, so we had to make five changes and then went 2-0 down after four minutes,” he said.
“Although it took us ten or 15 minutes to get to grip with things, we showed we have got a nice bit of depth within the squad now to come back.
“We lost the reserves at the end of last season as we were spread too thinly when we tried to get two sides on the pitch, so this year we have just gone with one side and have a bigger squad.
“It has made it more realistic for us and I think it proved a point on Saturday.”
Andrew Crowther, Mark Burrows, Michael Seeley, James Halsall and Nick Seabourne all missed last Saturday’s encounter due to a stomach bug.
But Oliver is hopeful Droitwich, who sit fourth in Midland Football League Division Two, will be back to full strength as they prepare to host struggling Paget Rangers tomorrow (Saturday).
“We are hoping it was just a 24 hour or a 48 hour things, which was why we did not train on Monday,” he added.
“We will reassess things on Thursday night and see what we have got available for the weekend.”