PERSHORE Town manager Quentin Townsend admits it will be a case of damage limitation as they continue a daunting run against the top sides in Midland League Division One with a much-depleted squad.
Having travelled to leaders Walsall Wood last weekend with six players from the spine of the team missing, they face another tough away day on Saturday at fourth placed Atherstone Town.
Such was the lack of defensive numbers last week, Townsend again had to play 90 minutes and player-assistant Shaun Griffiths started, despite a torn quad muscle.
Walsall Wood, who have won nine out of ten league games, inevitably took the points with a 4-0 victory and Atherstone, with as strong an attack as any in the league with Alex Naughton, Kyle Turner and Luke Shourthouse, will provide another tough examination.
The good news is that Steve Webb will return after holiday and Steve Walker should be fit after food poisoning but Pershore’s attack will be missing the unavailable Jamie Clarke and Pavel Tomczak.
Fellow front-runner Danny Prest has also decided to leave the club to play more locally to his Birmingham home.
“Unfortunately things might get worse before they get better,” said Townsend. “We have got a tough run of games – with Atherstone and then Leicester Road and Lichfield, who are also top eight sides – and with players still missing.
“But when we get into November and December we will have a run of games against teams around us and hopefully we will have a more settled side by then.
“Griff had torn his quad muscle but, like me, it would take a broken leg to stop him playing so he started and lasted until half time. Being brutally honest we didn’t have any other options.
“Dean Waldron, Steve Walker, Steve Webb, David Wilson and Jamie Clarke were missing last week and when you add Shaun Griffiths to that list, that’s the spine of our team.
“We have got to battle through the next few weeks.”
Facing the Adders’ much-vaunted attack, Pershore will also need to defend better but one bonus for Townsend is that Town have no midweek games for the next month so they will be able to work on their defensive structure.
“We are naive and that comes with being a young side,” said Townsend. “There’s a lot work on and now we’ve got the chance of few training sessions to get the message across. We need to defend better and that especially needs to be the case against Atherstone, with Naughton, Turner and Shorthouse in their ranks.”
Pershore will also shuffle their attack in the absence of front two Clarke and Tomczak and that will mean Alfie Bloomer, Callum Devlin and Mitch Butterworth will get their chance to impress.