Craig Denton says this weekend’s visit of Matlock Town will signal a ramping up of his players’ game time as the new season approaches.
The Worksop Town boss has overseen some encouraging pre-season displays but with just three more friendlies remaining before the FA Cup visit of Melton Town on August 10, he is now expecting more from his squad.
And that will begin with the visit of the Gladiators on Saturday.
He said: “I’ve said to the players now that minutes will start to be increased, so it won’t be a 20, 21-man squad. We’re looking at getting it down to maybe 18 and start giving players 70 or 80 minutes and potentially 90 in some cases.
“That’s the whole point of pre-season, getting minutes under the belt, but in the latter stages we have to make sure players are getting up to the right levels of ability and minutes.”
After a 2-2 draw with Handsworth on Saturday, Worksop won 3-1 at Swallownest on Wednesday night thanks to goals from Andy Gascoigne, Leon Mettam and Matt Sykes.
And Denton felt the attacking side of Tigers’ play was effective, particularly in the second-half.
He said: “The first 20 minutes were a little bit sluggish and our attitude wasn’t great meaning we started the game poorly, but that’s pre-season sometimes.
“I made a few changes at half-time but that was always planned to ensure the players get the right minutes.
“The changes were really positive and we were much more on the front foot in the second-half which made a massive difference and we dictated the play for most of it, although with all due respect to Swallownest that’s what we should be doing given we’re a couple of divisions apart.
“We’ve got bags of ability going forward. There are different options in that we have big, strong centre-forwards like Craig Mitchell and Leon Mettam, then players like Matt Sykes, Steve McDonnell and Lynton Karkach who can pass well and strike the ball, so there are lots of different qualities that mean I can change it if I need to.”