WARRINGTON Town manager Paul Carden says the reason for their current run of form goes beyond the 11 players on the pitch.
Carden has been able to select a settled 11 since Dave Raven and Jack Mackreth received their international clearance, and they have now won four in a row and not conceded a goal for more than six and a half matches.
With the likes of Jack Dunn, Robbie Evans, Luke George and James McCarten still on the sidelines, plus the expected arrival of Lewis Nightingale in the autumn, the Yellows find themselves in a strong position if they can avoid the injury problems that derailed their promotion bid in the run in last season.
Carden said: “I’m not one to drop players. It’s not just about the 11, the 11 are pushed because of what’s on the bench and what’s not even making the 16. Those players are more important than the starting 11 because they are frustrated and they do want to play, and we’ve got to make sure we manage them right, because their standard is so high.
“You look at the bench and think he can get in there, but it’s about taking opportunities and it’s about grabbing hold of the shirt and keeping it when you get your chance and that’s what the starting 11 are doing plus Robbie (Evans) have done.
“He was hard done by tonight being left out to be fair, but he took it and he came on and played his part and that’s what it’s going to be about, it’s not going to be about an 11, it’s going to be about an 18 man squad this season.”
As well as the undoubted experience in his squad, Carden’s youngsters have impressed during the current run, including left-back Adam Hughes who scored a brilliant free-kick in Tuesday night’s 2-0 win at Hyde United.
Young midfielder Ben Garrity has impressed alongside Shaun Beeley, while starlet Dylan Vassallo has shown consistency in his prolonged run in the team on the left of midfield.
Carden added: “We talk about the experience, but the experience manages the young lads in the side. You’ve got Dylan, Hughesy, Ben and a couple of lads in mid 20s who balance the books a little but the understanding from the younger players is getting better.
“I said to Hughesy on Saturday any free kicks round the box I’d sooner see it go over the stand than floating in to the keeper’s hands, because he’s got a hell of a left foot on him.
“He’s 20 and when he believes in himself like he did there, he’s got half a chance of making it.”
Warrington Town are back in action on Saturday against one of Hughes’ former clubs, Marine, at Cantilever Park (3pm).