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Neil Aspin remains calm despite busy pre season schedule

19 July 2018

Manager Neil Aspin says he "wouldn't lose sleep" over pre season games but admits it's a good time for him to look at different potential formations for the upcoming season.

The Valiants have certainly been busy since arriving back for training. A pre season fitness trip to Ireland and five fixtures around that has kept the players and management on their toes, but the gaffer says "you can't read too much into it."

"Obviously you want to see some shape and you want to see some positives, but if you've been in football a long time you can't read too much into it.

"I think you need to have a clear idea of what your teams going to be and what you want to put out onto the pitch, and you've got the give players a chance then to perform.

"You want to get certain players into the team. Any manager wants to get his best players into a shape and a formation, we don't want to be going from back to front to Tom Pope all the time we do need to mix our play up but we don't want to over play and get caught in possession right near our own goal."

A vital part of being able to test out new formations and shapes is of course the players. Aspin confirmed that due to some players picking up knocks and bruises in training, he was unable to experiment as much with the formation until our visit to Halifax on Tuesday.

The manager opted to playing three at the back in the first half, with Rawlinson, Smith and Montano making the cut. Manny Oyeleke and Theo Vessell missed out due to injury whilst David Worrall was forced off late in the second half after injuring his hip.

Neil Aspin's main focus now with the build up of games and the league starting in just over two weeks, is to keep an eye on those with slight knocks.

"We've had one or two niggles, nothing major but muscle injuries which have kept people out of games. From the two games this week we haven't picked up anything else which is the most important thing.

"I think if we've got a decision to make if whether a player plays on Saturday, if it's a decision where maybe in a league game you'd risk him but not in a friendly. Unless a player is 100% fit, those are the players we pick from."

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