Selection headache for Matlock Town boss ahead of South Shields test

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Matlock boss Dave Frecklington faces some tough and heart wrenching decisions ahead of Saturday’s trip to South Shields and in the coming weeks.

The casualty list now reduced to only midfielders Michael Williams and Harry Vince from a total reaching double figures during the last few weeks, so Frecklington now has the luxury of selecting from an almost fully fit squad. Lee Beevers, Tom Davie and Craig Westcarr are now all fit and available for consideration.

But he also knows that long term he cannot keep hold of everyone through budgetary considerations and also with players wanting to be involved in first team action regularly.

“There are selection issues and that’s both the hard part and the good part of being manager,” said Frecklington.

“You want to be able to select from your best possible squad and that’s something we’ve not had the opportunity of doing so far.

“We can’t carry twenty players though so four or five of the lads will be left out which is hard for they’ve all played a major part at some time or other in our recent good run. There’ll be some long discussions before Saturday and then going forward.”

The South Shields clash is something of a landmark fixture for Frecklington and his assistants Terry Fleming and Chris Rawlinson. The North Easterners came to the Proctor Cars Stadium in September to win 3-0 just days after Frecklington, Fleming and Rawlinson had been appointed following the departure of former boss Dave Hoole.

He added: “We’d been in the building for forty hours, we watched the training and went into the South Shields game with little in the way of preparation, it was more off the cuff.

“But things are totally different now. We’ve made a lot of changes since then and because they’ve been successful, South Shields haven’t made that many changes so we hope we can continue our good run.”

South Shields have a one hundred per cent winning record from their seven league home games to date but are just one place above eighth in the table Matlock due to some indifferent results on their travels.

Frecklington knows it will be a difficult game on Saturday but takes encouragement from recent away performances from the Gladiators.

“We’re under no illusions that we face a tough game on Saturday against a very good side with an excellent home record playing in front of a big crowd,”

“But the performances and results we got at Warrington and Nantwich who were both second in the table and unbeaten at home at the time prove we’re capable of beating anyone.

“We don’t fear anyone in this league, we’ve got twenty four points from the last thirty and are the form team. South Shields will probably be looking at that as well.

“We’re a bit sceptical about the enforced break we had last weekend, when you’re in a run like this you don’t want a break but it did give time for some knocks and bruises to clear up for if the Basford game had been on we’d have probably still had a few players out.

“Time will obviously tell whether the break has had any effect on us but the lads all worked hard in training again on Tuesday and are desperate to carry on from where we left off.”