MARTIN Rowe has admitted that Gresley may have started their rebuilding process a little late, but is pleased with the way his new-look squad are starting to come together.
Few players remain at the Moat Ground from the side which earned promotion to the EvoStik League two years ago, as Rowe – who took sole charge of the team last summer – has brought in new, younger players.
They host Scarborough tomorrow, kick-off 3pm, on a run of four wins in their last five games.
That sequence has seen them up to 11th in NPL Division One South, and they could easily finish inside the top 10 with three games remaining.
What has especially pleased Rowe is the improved away form as, after a long run of defeats on the road, they have won three of their last four.
“I’m very pleased with the last two victories away from home – and two deserved victories as well,” he said.
“We played a lot better at Market Drayton (on Saturday).
“We’ve got three games left and the first two are going to be very difficult.
“Scarborough have had an up and down season but they are still one of the biggest clubs in the league.
“And they will want to finish as high as possible.
“But the lads’ confidence is up at the moment and they are really looking forward to it.”
Youngsters like Mats Morch (20), Liam Guest (19), Kieran O’Connell (23), Lucas Harrison (20), Sam Grice (21) and Zibusiso Nyatito (23) have come into the team this year and made an impression.
“We are starting now to talk to the players about next year,” said Rowe.
“This season has been a rebuilding season, and maybe we started that a bit late, but we wanted to be loyal to the players who got us here.
“We are a younger squad now and we just need a few additions to challenge next season.”
Meanwhile, Rowe could stick with a three-man front-line of Alex Steadman, Serge Makofo and either Paolo Piliero or O’Connell after it worked well last weekend.
“We tried a 4-3-3 formation for the first time this season last week and it worked very well, with one down the centre and two playing wider,” he said.
“Any formation I chuck at the team, they seem to cope with it, but we might stick with that one this week.
“It should be a very entertaining game, as both teams like to attack.”
Mitch Hanson (pictured) could be dragooned into the centre of defence again tomorrow, with Guest (shoulder) still a doubt.
Hanson played the full 90 minutes last week despite carrying a knee injury, but Mark Strzyzewski and John Guy are also struggling.
Guy could be replaced at left-back by Lucas Harrison, who returns from suspension, while O’Connell’s hip injury will be treated by club physiotherapist Samantha Andrews.
“Sam is going to be busy this week,” admitted Rowe, who could have a full squad to choose from if all his walking wounded report fit.