WOOTTON Bassett boss Dave Turner believes the emergence of a number of promising youth prospects in recent weeks will stand them in good stead for the future.
Bassett got back to winning ways with a 2-1 away win at Hook Norton last weekend, but before that they suffered three straight defeats without scoring a goal and were knocked out of two cup competitions in the process.
Turner’s side host North Leigh tomorrow as they aim for back-to-back victories in Division One West, but the manager is convinced their run of games without success has produced a number of unexpected positives, including the emergence of some good young prospects.
“We didn’t let ourselves get too down about the defeats because there were mitigating circumstances during those games with injuries, and in honesty I am glad they came in cup games rather than us losing out in the league,” he said.
“We were not expecting to lose the games and you never want to lose a game, but we saw some real positives from them, particularly with some young players.
“A number of them showed they were very good players indeed, in particular Scott Walduck who since made his first-team debut at only 16. He is usually a right-back, but played left-back for us, and when he came on last week he went in on the right of midfield and did well.
“He is a good young player and he is going to have a decent future for sure.”
Turner is also keen to take the positives from the fact leading scorer Mark Barnes hasn’t found the net since the 5-1 win at New College at the start of November.
“He has got to be due a goal now I think, and strikers are like that, they go on runs, so hopefully when he goes on a run he can keep scoring,” he said.
North Leigh currently sit 10th in the table having hauled themselves out of the bottom two, and Turner is expected a close contest tomorrow afternoon.
“We played them at their place a little while ago, and I was impressed with them for sure,” he said. “They were in the bottom two or three at that time, and I remember going to their manager at the end of the game and saying to him that they wouldn’t be down there for long.
“They have a good batch of young players and they go about things in the right way, and even though we won well in the end it really flattered us.
“As long as we are at it and we have the right attitude we can expect results, but they have had some good wins recently and even beat Carterton which is a great achievement.
“The thing is, though, with a reserve team they can lose players at a moment’s notice, and they can never be sure what team they are able to put out.”
Elsewhere in the division, Fairford go to league leaders Brimscombe and Thrupp as they look to continue their surge up the league table, and New College go to Tytherington Rocks with manager Rob Hopkins back involved with the first team after a spell away.
In Hellenic Premier action Highworth travel to Oxford City Nomads, and boss John Fisher believes there are points to be had for his side.
“They are a midtable side, so it is the sort of game where we are capable of picking up some points,” he said.
“We have got to start winning games, we know that, and there are points to be had from this game and the two after that, and it would be good to go into the new year in the right direction.
“We have a full side available to us, but we will have to wait and see whether the game is on because of the damage the cold weather might have done to the pitch.”
Meanwhile, rock-bottom Shrivenham go to Thame United in desperate search of victory.