Redditch United manager, Paul Davis, believes his new-look side will be facing a team in AFC Rushden & Diamonds that are capable of finishing in the Evo-Stik South – Premier Division Central play-offs when the season kicks off at Hayden Road on Saturday (3pm KO).
After a long pre-season, the opening day finally gets underway this weekend, and Davis, who will be in the dugout for his first competitive game for The Reds, believes his team are in for a tough game:
“Rushden are a very good side; they’re well organised and boast a talented squad. They have been very successful in recent years, and there is no reason for that to stop this season. I think we will be playing a team that has the potential to finish in and around the play-offs.”
On his own charges, Davis said: “I’ve spoken a few times about our squad needing time to gel, but we are as well prepared as we can be with a new squad – even with more new faces coming in this week – and we are excited to show the supporters what we can do.”
Former Premier League striker, Stefan Moore, and experienced midfielder, Tom Winters, joined the ranks this week.
With plenty of fresh faces and competition for places rife, Davis knows he faces a difficult job in keeping everyone happy: “We have trained twice this week and used 25 players, so it was a challenge to trim the squad for opening day. Unsurprisingly, there were players that were disappointed to not be involved, but I hope they use that disappointment as motivation to ensure they work even harder in training and force their way into the squad.”
Davis also had a message to the fans: “Travel safely, and myself, staff and the players look forward to seeing you tomorrow. I can assure all Reds supporters that we will all do our best to send you home with a positive result.”
Giancarlo Gabbiadini (concussion) will not travel with the squad, while Muha Sebbeh is doubtful, as he is awaiting international clearance to play.
Supporters travelling to Hayden Road Sports Ground can pay on the day, with admissions priced as the following:
Concessions (over 60s, students and 8-15-year-olds): £7
Under 8s: Free
Parking in the immediate area of the ground is confined to on-street parking within residential areas. Alternatively, there is free parking in the town centre, leaving a short walk to the ground.
For more details, visit AFC Rushden & Diamonds’ stadium guide: https://bit.ly/2OJUyjv
Supporters can stay up-to-date with the latest news at The TRICO Stadium by either checking the website or social media channels: Twitter: @RedditchUtd or Facebook: Redditch United FC – Official.
Updated 09:44 - 10 Aug 2018 by Tom Henman