Mehew tells his troops that they have no excuses now
LEGS have been rested and the cobwebs have been blown away so there will be no excuses for Gloucester City's squad when they return to action after their winter break at Altrincham tomorrow.
It is over a month since City last tasted competitive action with four games in the last four weeks all going by the wayside leaving boss Dave Mehew and his squad desperate for a return to action.
A hastily-arranged friendly against Brimscombe and Thrupp on the Hartpury College rubber crumb last Saturday helped ease the ring-rusty squad back into action last week, with Mehew thankful for the warm-up chance.
The Hellenic League Division One West title chasers triumphed 3-2 in a game consisting of three 30-minute periods during which Mehew shuffled and rotated his squad.
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"We needed the game last week against Brimscombe, because to be honest we were so rusty and sluggish for the first 30 minutes," said Mehew.
"We conceded two goals in that time and improved as the game went on, so that definitely served a purpose.
"The boys will get a warning that the cobwebs have been blown away and there is no excuse at Altrincham now.
"Had we gone to Boston and played like that we would have been three or four goals down before we would have known it.
"But we can go to Altrincham confident in the knowledge that we've won four in five and with the memory of an excellent win there last season, so there's plenty of encouragement."
Mehew has had the whole of January to mull over the one enforced change to his side since the New Year's Day derby win over Worcester City.
Midfield ace Jordan Goddard scored the opening goal that day, but has since returned to parent club Worcester City upon the culmination of a three-month loan spell.
In his absence Mehew is set to shuffle his midfield with Lewis Hogg shifting inside to allow Adam Mann to return to the side on the left-flank.
The Gloucester-born winger will return with a challenge from his boss to make the position his own again after a frustrating and injury-hit campaign so far.
"Manny has had a bit of a tough time of it so far this season with injuries and so on," Mehew said.
"But from his point of view he needs to kick-on and really make that position his own, but to do that he needs to develop more of an end product.
"He's a fantastic trainer and in training he's always spot on, but he needs to produce that in games from now on and that's his challenge starting at Altrincham."
Mehew will make a late decision on the fitness of defender Tom Hamblin who is struggling with a knock picked up in the Worcester win.
However, fellow defenders Chris Holland and Mike Green are fit and available for selection after the break allowed them time to recover from their respective hamstring and abdominal strains.