Harrogate Town v Forest Green Rovers: Sulphurites squad depth boosts Simon Weaver

Warren Burrell was one of seven changes that Simon Weaver made to Harrogate Town's starting line-up for Tuesday night's 1-0 Carabao Cup success over Carlisle United. Pictures: Matt KirkhamWarren Burrell was one of seven changes that Simon Weaver made to Harrogate Town's starting line-up for Tuesday night's 1-0 Carabao Cup success over Carlisle United. Pictures: Matt Kirkham
Warren Burrell was one of seven changes that Simon Weaver made to Harrogate Town's starting line-up for Tuesday night's 1-0 Carabao Cup success over Carlisle United. Pictures: Matt Kirkham
Simon Weaver says he can take plenty of encouragement from the fact that almost the entirety of his first-team squad have played a part in Harrogate Town’s positive start to 2023/24.

The League Two Sulphurites were among the bookmakers’ pre-season favourites for relegation but have kicked off the new campaign with two wins and two clean-sheets.

And while he was quick to stress that it would be premature to get too excited about results, the Town chief believes that the performance levels of all 18 players who featured during those 1-0 successes over Doncaster Rovers and Carlisle United bodes well for what lies ahead.

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“It’s been a real squad effort and it’s very encouraging that we’ve managed to beat Carlisle, who are a League One team, after making seven changes to the side which won at Doncaster,” Weaver said.

Sulphurites boss Simon Weaver.Sulphurites boss Simon Weaver.
Sulphurites boss Simon Weaver.

“I’m confident in the group that we have got, confident that we can make those kind of changes and be no weaker.

“At around the 70-minute mark in both games, we have been able to change key members of personnel, not been any weaker as a result, and we’ve seen the games out.

“These days, with the cup competitions you have at this level, and especially now we are playing more and more minutes, it’s a squad game. It isn’t just about a core of 12-13 players here.

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“Lads might be disappointed in the short term if they’re not playing, but they’re all valued and all needed. If you run players into the ground like we have had to in previous seasons due to lack of squad depth, then injuries occur and by October you can have killed any momentum you’ve had.

“It’s early days yet, we’ve only played two games out of 50-odd, but two games in, full use of the squad I’m very pleased with that.”

Town are back in league action this Saturday following Tuesday’s Carabao Cup triumph over Carlisle, with Forest Green Rovers the visitors to Wetherby Road for a 3pm kick-off.