Manager Simon Grayson says that with four weeks of Saturday-Tuesday fixtures and some long-distance travel in the mix, the squad will be used to its full potential.The PNE boss welcomes back a number of members of his squad from injury and international duty for the last clash with the Valiants and expects them all to play their part over the coming week
“We’ve got the international boys back,” said the gaffer. “The other lads have had some time on the training pitch and a little bit of recovery time last weekend and we are shaping up nicely.
“We have one or two players available who missed the last game and the week before, so we are coming along nicely. One or two are still on the treatment table, but that’s the reason we have the strength in depth we have.
“We were down to the bare 16 for the last game, but that’s what we have a squad and anyone who comes into the team are not going to make us any weaker. We have a lot of different options.
“We have a schedule coming up where we play Saturday-Tuesday for four consecutive weeks and that is going to be gruelling for us.
“There won’t be too many players who can play every minute of every game, which means everyone who is available will get some game time.
“We have some tough fixtures, some tough travelling schedules and you have to utilise your squad. We have to keep players fresh and make sure we don’t have anyone picking up injuries through fatigue.”
It’s a case of déjà vu for the manager and his squad with back-to-back home games against Robert Page’s men, albeit the PNE boss expects both sides to have a slightly different look to the ones that represented their teams for the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy tie.
“They will make one or two changes from when we played them,” continued Simon. “That happened last weekend when they played against Yeovil.
“They had a great result at the weekend and they won’t make too many changes.
“It will be a tough test. They have a striker in form, in Pope, who can be a handful on his day and they are buoyant off their result last weekend.”