MARTIN Rowe has warned his Gresley players they face the axe if they turn in another performance like the one they gave in Tuesday night’s 5-0 thrashing at Halesowen Town.
The Moatmen were comprehensively beaten by the high-fliers, but have a chance to put things right against Derbyshire rivals Ilkeston Town in the FA Trophy first qualifying round tomorrow, kick-off 3pm.
Other than restoring the players rested in midweek, Rowe is not planning wholesale changes – yet.
“I thought we might have turned the corner, but football can kick you when you least expect it,” he said.
“It was a bit of a shock because over the last 10 games we’ve defended well.
“They were all as bad as each other – I think they must have all gone to watch the England match because they certainly weren’t at the game.
“We’ve got to put that behind us and go again in the FA Trophy against Ilkeston.
“They beat us in pre-season and had a narrow win in the FA Cup last year, but we beat them the pre-season before.
“The players will want to bounce back, and if a few of them have another bad game, then that’s when the axe will fall.”
Gresley will be able to call on Rob Spencer (pictured) after he recovered from a hamstring injury, and Rowe said it was “like having a new player in the squad”.
The popular forward has a history of scoring important cup goals and will be a welcome addition this weekend.
“We’ve missed Rob,” said Rowe.
“He gives us something different with his direct running.”
As well as the return of Spencer, Rowe is likely to bring back in the aforementioned rested players – namely defender and skipper Jamie Barrett, winger Marc Goodfellow and striker Jordan Nadat.
“I left three out on Tuesday and they’ll all come back into the team,” he said.
“Then I’ll make a judgement on who else will play and what tactic we’ll use.
“We’ve got to win tomorrow, and if we can keep it tight at the start I think we have a good chance.
“We’ve got to be more attacking though, as we want to get it done first time rather than having another replay.”