Wetherby Athletic wary of battling Pool

Wetherby Athletic in action earlier this season

Wetherby Athletic in action earlier this season

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Wetherby Athletic boss Des English is demanding full focus from his players when they host lowly Pool on Saturday (kick-off 2pm).

The manager wants his squad to focus on their football, as the side face a fixture pile-up due to postponements across the league and at their Ings base.

English knows Wetherby face a busy period playing catch-up, but wants his side to remain confident going into the clash.

He said: “We are in the situation where we have only played once in five weeks, and that can count against you.

“It is a difficult time for us, as the first-team players are having to play for the second team, to get game time.

“That interrupts the seconds, but these are the problems we have to deal with.”

Wetherby beat bottom side Pool 4-1 on the road in September, and English reckons the battling side will be out for revenge.

He explained: “Pool have been struggling lately.

“We got a good win at their place earlier in the season, it is a match we are looking to get points from but it is awkward.

“They will look at our form and think they can get a result.

“Against Ripon City and Carlton Athletic we defended very well, and I am looking for that again.”

He added: “We will have to be at our best but also wary of Pool.

“Maybe against teams like Beeston and Bardsey you can accept you might not get full points, but we have to remain confident.”

The Ings pitch is a cause for concern, with last Saturday’s match against Beeston St Anthony’s postponed, and ten home matches remaining to play on it this season.

Wetherby have five games in hand over league leaders Ripon City, and the lack of consistency is frustrating the side.

The manager said: “We lose a lot of games at this time of year with our pitch, it is frustrating.”

The Ings pitch is doubtful for the Pool game, and the manager is worried the inconsistency of playing could affect his team.

English said: “The pitch has been completely saturated recently, it is really soaking wet and, being right next to the river, there are puddles in the goalmouth.

“Having so many games called off means we can’t find any consistency.

“But we have to be careful what we do to the pitch.

“I don’t want to push and push to get one game on at the cost of the rest of our fixtures this season.”

‘Keeper James Senior had a successful shoulder operation last week, and will be out for the rest of the season as he recovers.