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HELLENIC LEAGUE: Progression not vital to Bassett boss Roberts
WOOTTON Bassett Town manager Jeff Roberts will not be pushing his side to go all out in search of progression in the Bluefin Challenge Cup this weekend, with development in the Hellenic Premier League a priority in his first season at the helm.
Bassett travel to Lydney Town for their first-round clash juggling a variety of injuries and absences which have left Roberts with a depleted squad at his disposal.
Given the mass rebuilding job the Bassett boss is overseeing in 2013/14, it is perhaps unsurprising that a lesser trophy is not top of his wishlist.
He told the Advertiser: “When we sat down with the committee at the start of the season we said we’d concentrate on the league and rebuilding this season.
“We’ll be looking to do stuff in the Wiltshire Senior Cup but really this competition is about not picking up injuries and yellow or red cards.
“Maybe next year we can look to make a push at it.”
Bassett’s form in knockout tournaments has been woeful this season, with defeats to Totton and Eling in the FA Cup, Odd Down in the FA Vase and Tytherington Rocks in the Floodlit Cup meaning Roberts’ side have yet to experience victory in cup competition this year.
“We’re trying to rebuild and the FA Cup and the Vase came pretty early this year, with the players still settling in,” said Roberts.
“We’re definitely going to have a look after Tuesday. The reaction I got after the game at the weekend was very good and it was great to see the players competing with a team like Reading.”
Adam Corcoran, Shaun Terry, Ryan Stanners and Sam Packer are all expected to miss out for Bassett, with Levi Cox playing on through a groin injury.
Roberts was pleased with his players’ efforts in their 4-4 league draw with Reading Town in midweek, and is hopeful they can carry that level of performance into the weekend.
“We’ve got quite a few missing again through suspensions, injuries, work commitments and family issues and it doesn’t make life easy, but we’ve got to deal with what we’ve got,” he said.
“We’ve got some good players in the reserves and they can step up. We’ve played three of the top five teams this season and we’ve held our own and could have got something out of those games.”
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