Tough decisions as Wakes bosses face selection dilemma

Phil Gadsby and Jimmy McDonnell
Phil Gadsby and Jimmy McDonnell

Joint boss Jimmy McDonnell has praised his players for making life tough for the Wakes management team.

Bourne have virtually a full-strength squad to choose from for Saturday’s United Counties League Division One trip to Huntingdon Town.

And, with around 18 players at their disposal, McDonnell and co-boss Phil Gadsby will be forced to make some tough decisions.

McDonnell said: “We’ve got good numbers and it’s down to me and Phil to manage it. We have said we will change it around if we need to to keep people interested and the lads understand that.

“It’s getting tougher every week though. I was on my own last season and it was very hard, but this year we’ve got tough decisions to make for the right reasons.

“Last weekend really highlighted it for me when Kev Elger, who has been one of our most consistent players this season, pulled out ill on Saturday morning.

“Last season that would have been panic stations, but we looked at the squad and came up with two or three different options and that has been the difference this year.”

Bourne moved into the top 10 of the Division One standings after a 1-0 away win at bottom-of-the-table S&L Corby last weekend.

Victory at Huntingdon on Saturday could catapult the Wakes further up the table, however defeat could send them back into the bottom half of a closely-contested division.

They will also face a Huntingdon side who will be upbeat after overturning a 3-0 half-time deficit to claim a share of the spoils with Blackstones last Saturday.

McDonnell added: “We got ourselves in a good position in the league a few weeks ago but then dropped points.

“It’s so tight up there that you can drop three or four places if you don’t win and I don’t want that to happen again.

“Huntingdon worked their way back into it last Saturday which shows they’re prepared to scrap for every point so we’ve got to do the same.

“Our lads will give it everything. Things don’t always happen in football for you, but it won’t be for the want of trying because our work-rate and commitment is good. We just need to keep adding and picking up points.”

McDonnell also wants his side to remain focused on Saturday’s game and not turn their attentions to Wednesday night’s home Lincolnshire Senior Trophy semi-final with Premier Division side Holbeach United.

He said: “We need to be concentrating on Saturday first because we need the three points rather than having one eye on Wednesday night.

“It’s a big match for us, but we will only start thinking about it once the game on Saturday has finished.

“Holbeach will obviously be the favourites and they are a very strong outfit, but stranger things have happened in football.

“I just hope the lads realise how close they are to getting to a cup final. It’s the closest this club has been for a long time.

“The lads deserve it for what they’ve done this season and so do all the people who work hard behind the scenes.

“We will need to run and work five times more than we have this season and produce the same effort and commitment.

“I would be very jealous of them if they got the chance to walk out in a cup final, but also very proud of what they have achieved.”