Changes in store in a bid to find a winning formula
A CHANGE might be as good as a rest as Forest Green seek to halt their horrible Blue Square Bet Premier slide.
Off-form Rovers could perhaps have done without two matches in the next four days, beginning tomorrow night when they take on Southport at Haig Avenue (7.45pm).
Manager Dave Hockaday admits he must manage his squad carefully with nine games of the season remaining, and personnel changes are a near certainty on Merseyside.
"Magno Vieira had a really tight quadricep on Thursday and Friday so we couldn't risk him from the start against Barrow," Hockaday explained.
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"Jamie Turley just felt his hamstring so we had to leave him out, and there are one or two other knocks and niggles.
"There are going to be changes as we progress towards the end of the season.
"Playing Saturday, Tuesday, Friday is not easy, and we haven't got a big enough squad at the moment to pick and choose players for particular games.
"We're picking the best people we've got available and who are fully fit, taking it game by game."
A meagre haul of two points from the last 15 available has seen Hockaday's men slip out of the play-off zone.
They trail fifth placed Grimsby Town by six points, having played three more matches, and have managed only two goals since the 4-1 drubbing of Braintree Town on February 12.
Hockaday believes eight wins are now necessary to get back in the promotion mix – an extremely tall order, but one he feels is attainable.
"It's not over – we're still in with a shout and we've got a good run-in," he said.
"All we can do is keep on going. We've got a great set of lads who are playing great stuff.
"We get it down and play, as everybody knows, and we're creating loads of chances. Some day someone is going to get a thumping.
"For me we've got to be looking to win eight of the nine games now to have a realistic chance, so that's what we'll aim to do."
Forward Ben Wright is likely to play some part against the Sandgrounders, having missed Saturday's 1-1 draw with Barrow as he battles back from a four-month injury sabbatical.
Turley will undergo a fitness test but Jamie Collins (knee), Steve Brogan (groin) and Reece Styche (knee) are definite absentees.
Liam Watson's Southport have again belied their part-time status this term, and they sit comfortably in mid-table despite a weekend defeat at Lincoln City.