SOUTHERN LEAGUE: Collier has no plans to trim Bluebirds squad

Swindon Advertiser: Chippenham Town manager Mark Collier Chippenham Town manager Mark Collier

MARK Collier has no immediate plans to trim down his Chippenham Town squad as the Bluebirds head into the busy Christmas period.

The Hardenhuish Park chief has continued to re-shape his squad, most recently snapping up former Swindon Town youth team midfielder Jake Simpson and releasing defender Stuart Tovey, but insists that he is working comfortably within his playing budget.

“Signing players doesn’t affect the budget too much because the non-contract players don’t get paid when they’re not playing,” said Collier. “We just need to get competition for places and as big a squad as everyone thinks we’ve got, we’ve still got a lot of injuries to cope with.

“We’re missing some experienced players in Iain Harvey and Lee Phillips – unfortunately, it’s looking like they may be out until at least Christmas.

“We’ve got three or four out so we still need the people that we’ve got so that we’ve got a competitive bench.

“We haven’t got any plans to bring anyone else in but with Griff (Alan Griffin) now getting suspended and Phillips out too, it does leave us a little bit short of firepower.

“But we’re always looking and if anyone comes along that we think can make a difference, then we’ll be interested.

“Things change week-to-week so we need to cover every eventuality.“ The Bluebirds were well beaten by league leaders Hemel Hempstead Town last weekend and Collier is looking towards a crucial trip to struggling Bashley tomorrow.

The Chippenham boss said: “We’re aware of where we are and what we’ve got to do so we’ve got to keep working hard collectively and I’m sure the tide will turn for us – I’m quite positive about that.

“There are a few people who are below par at the moment and we need to get them back to where we want them to be to give us an opportunity to move forward. “Obviously we’ve been making some changes but it’s taking a little longer than we’d have liked to settle down.

“We need to get some points and hopefully we can do that at Bashley.”

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