THE ADDITION of James Guthrie to Swindon Supermarine’s squad underlines the club’s intention to compete at a higher level in the coming years, according to manager Lee Spalding.

Guthrie, a former Southern Premier Division winner with Chippenham Town, was confirmed as Spalding’s latest capture on Thursday morning – joining from the Bluebirds following eight years at Hardenhuish Park.

The versatile midfielder, who is capable of playing on the left and right wings as well as in the centre, is eligible to play in tomorrow’s crunch trip to league leaders Tiverton.

Buoyed by Tuesday night’s remarkable win at Met Police, Marine understandably enter this weekend’s tie not lacking in confidence.

Tiverton meanwhile will be wanting to make amends for their mid-week defeat to Yate Town.

Spalding praised his squad’s work ethic and commitment to the cause in recent weeks, particularly after players overcame a slight injury crisis in the team at the start of the month before winning five games on the spin.

“If we didn’t have a big squad, we wouldn’t have been able to compete in recent games,” said Spalding.

“The lads that have had an opportunity to play have taken their opportunity – that’s what it’s about when you have a big squad.

“Injuries and suspensions play a part at all teams, and for me it’s important to have the quality in depth.

“I don’t have a selection headache, the lads that have played in the last couple of weeks have been excellent.

“It’s important we keep legs fresh and ensure players are ready to go. But I don’t see a problem in that department.

“All players look after themselves, and every single player involved in the last two weeks will want to be involved – no player will hold their hand up on Saturday and say they’re tired because they want to be a part of this team.”

Excluding Tuesday’s blip at home to Yate, Tiverton have been in hot form all season and sit pretty at the top of the Southern League table – level on points with Truro City.

Two defeats from 12 underlines the Yellows’ strong form, but Marine themselves have lost just three league games.

And victory this weekend could bring Spalding’s side to within two points of their next rivals.

He added: “Tiverton have recruited well. I’ve watched them, and they try to play football while scoring a lot of goals.

“We’ll have to do all the things we’ve done over the past fortnight. Our success is down to working harder and making sure we’re better on the ball.

“We’ve been more clinical in the final third too. That’s been important, we’ve reacted when going behind.”