STEVE Housham wants his players to step up and show him who his starting 11 should be.
The Gainsborough Trinity boss spoke to the Standard ahead of a hectic week for his Blues side, with three pre-season friendly fixtures starting at Grimsby Borough on Tuesday night.
A visit to Carlton Town on Thursday will be followed by a local derby against former tenants Worksop Town on the Northolme on Saturday.
Housham has told his players this is the time to impress the management team.
“It’s time to step up to the plate,” he said.
“There are only a couple of weeks until the start of the season and I want to know who my starting 11 will be on 18th August.”
“They’ve all got something to prove.”
Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Lincoln City was Trinity’s seventh fixture of a packed pre-season schedule and they’re yet to lose.
Darryn Stamp got Gainsborough’s goal in front of 879 at Lincoln, and the manager was delighted with the run out.
He said: “I thought we played very well, we kept the ball well and although we got a bit sloppy at the end of the first half we pretty much controlled the game after the break.”
“Going to Lincoln and getting a draw was a good result, and I said before the game I didn’t want to go there and lose.”
He believes the amount of football his lads are getting to play before the competitive fixtures start is beginning to pay dividends.
“A lot of them are playing 90 minutes and coming off not looking too bad.”
“The games are about experimenting with formations for me, and fitness for them.”
Saturday’s visit of Worksop Town will see former Blues striker Leon Mettam return to the Northolme with his new club, alongside another ex-Trinity man Owain Warlow.
Housham expects a tough encounter.
“Every game is a test, but Worksop is a local derby and they will want to come and get a result.”
The club strengthened the squad this week with the signing of goalkeeper Jan Budtz, striker Sam Mulready and centre-half Danny Hone.
Budtz and Jason White will form a strong goalkeeping unit for the club, according to the manager.
“We went through six goalkeepers last season, so we needed to get two good ones in and I think they’ll provide good comeptition for each other,” he said.
“They both look good, Jan is very experienced and they’ll have to fight for that position.”
On Tuesday Trinity host Doncaster Rovers at 7.45pm, and they have been drawn against Grantham Town at home in the semi-final of the Lincs Cup on 11th August.