Redditch United head into Saturday’s Evo-Stik South – Premier Division Central clash with unbeaten Biggleswade Town off the back of a convincing 6-2 friendly victory over Racing Club Warwick – and Paul Smith is hoping his players show the same level of performance against The Waders.
Montel Gibson, Dave Reynolds and Robbie Bunn were among the scorers at The TRICO Stadium on Tuesday evening, and while the victory was pleasing, The Reds boss was more satisfied with the performance and the chemistry being generated in a side that boasts plenty of new faces:
“We were disappointed with the manner of the two goals conceded against Stratford Town last Saturday; however, I was pleased with our concentration and organisation levels against Racing Club Warwick, not conceding from set-pieces, while we always looked threatening going forward and were ruthless.
“There are a lot of new players in the squad, which is part of the reason why we’ve organised these friendlies (Reds take on Kidderminster Harriers on Tuesday 2nd October at The TRICO Stadium (7.45pm KO)). They’ve settled in well at training, but they all need minutes together to build a team spirit, match fitness and learn the style that I want us to play.
“They key to any successful side is a strong spine; I believe we’re not far away from achieving that. Despite the business done this week, which I’m delighted about, we’re still a couple of players short.”
As well as central defender, Rob Evans, who joined this week from Coleshill Town, Smith has also agreed deals with Olly Mulders and Michael Nelson after shining against Racing Club Warwick.
On the new arrivals, Smith said: “Olly is a former Birmingham City prospect, who was only released this year. He’s a tall, combative central midfielder, who enjoys the box-to-box role in a team. Meanwhile, Michael, who joins us from Hednesford Town, is a right winger that has an end product – something all wingers need. I am delighted to have signed both of them and they will be available on Saturday.”
On Saturday’s opponents, Smith knows his side will face a tough task, playing against the only unbeaten side left in the division; however, he is optimistic following a positive week:
“As well as a positive performance against Racing Club Warwick, training has been superb. It’s a clean slate for everyone and I’ve seen a real buzz in training, smiles on faces and a lot of hard work.
“I hope that hard work and performance on Tuesday night will translate to a good performance and result against Biggleswade. Our opponents will be a threat from set-pieces, so that’ll be an examination of how far we’ve come in that department, while physically we’ll have to match them.
Rob Evans will miss out with injury, but he may return against Kidderminster Harriers on Tuesday evening, while Tom Winters and Tom Fishwick remain on the sidelines. Positively, though, Dave Reynolds is available after coming through Tuesday’s exhibition unscathed, as is Max Loveridge.
Updated 08:31 - 28 Sep 2018 by Tom Henman