Squad key as Bucks prepare for four games in a week

Martin McIntosh faces a tough week with Buxton.
Martin McIntosh faces a tough week with Buxton.

Martin McIntosh says he expects to make full use of his squad over the next week as Buxton prepare for four matches in seven days.

The congested week begins with a crucial encounter against fellow play-off hopefuls Stourbridge at the Tarmac Silverlands Stadium on Saturday.

That’s followed by the visit of relegation-threatened Ilkeston on Tuesday, before a League Cup semi-final at Bamber Bridge two days later.

The week will be rounded off with another home game, this time against Coalville Town on April 8, and McIntosh says keeping his team fresh will be a challenge.

He said: “I’ve got 19 players to work with and some are already unavailable for one or more of the games so we’ll be stretched, but I’m confident we have the personnel to see us through the week and indeed beyond.

“The league games have to be the priority as it’s what we spend ten or 11 months of the year planning and playing for, so it may be that the Bamber Bridge game sees us make more changes than in the others, but we want to win every game.

“It’s difficult, but we’re not the only ones having to play four games in a week so we just have to make sure we make the most of it.

“It’s where having a good-sized squad comes into its own as you often get these kinds of spells towards the end of the season so it’s good to be prepared as much as you can be.”

McIntosh was speaking after seeing his side record two wins without conceding any goals - 6-0 at the now relegated Skelmersdale on Saturday and then 2-0 at home to Frickley on Tuesday night.

And the Bucks boss was delighted to have taken six points from the encounters.

He said: “Skelmersdale are going through a tough time and we had to be respectful of that and do a professional job.

“I don’t take any pleasure out of piling the misery on young players and beating them 6-0 but you can only hope they become better players for the experience.

“Skem are a good club and I hope things work out for them and they can bounce back.

“Frickley gave us a really hard time earlier in the season, scoring four goals and being very attack-minded, so I’m quite surprised they changed managers as on Tuesday they had about one shot on goal.

“It was a game we needed to go about properly and we did that and deserved the points.”

Stourbridge will come to the Peak District on Saturday having lost 2-1 at home to Grantham Town last weekend, although they still sit third in the table, four points ahead of the Bucks.

McIntosh said: “They gave us a bit of a pasting at their place earlier in the season, although at 3-0 up with five minutes to go we then got two back and very nearly scored an equaliser.

“They’re a great club with good support and a manager who has been there a long time and who has overseen some good cup runs too, including getting to the FA Cup third round this season.”

McIntosh’s squad was trimmed this week with the departure of George Milner who has taken up the offer of a chance to play football in Norway, with McIntosh adding: “We cancelled George’s contract but we wish him well and the door remains open for him to return in future as he’s done a great job for us.”