Riley excited by strength of squad
AFC Totton manager Steve Riley believes the Stags’ new signings can enhance the squads competitive nature and build on what has been an encouraging month for the Stags.
Even with the weather dampening many spirits and postponing many games, Riley has brought in two loan signings in from AFC Bournemouth as well as Caleb Porter from Bashley.
The new recruits trained with the squad last week and already the manager feels they will bring the right attributes to the Stags.
“They trained with us on Thursday and the boys were all welcoming, they will bring quality and a competitive edge to the team and that’s exactly what we need at the moment,” the manager explained.
“Looking at the squad it is the strongest we have had all season, I’m looking forward to Saturday’s game against Redditch and hopefully we can go on an unbeaten run.”
After last week’s postponement at Biggleswade Town, the squad are fresh as they host Redditch on Saturday, weather permitting. The Stags narrowly lost to The Reds in December but Riley believes his squad need to start winning these types of games if they are to mount a tilt at survival.
“Mathematically we are still in with a shout,” he said. “We have to get games played and start picking up points. We are all up for the challenge and hopefully we can turn a corner and get some wins that will lift everyone’s confidence around the club.”
The Stags have had numerous postponements over the last month due to the torrential weather and the manager feels with the fixture pile up bearing down on his side, bringing in new players can only be a positive thing.
“Sometimes you can get to many new faces in and it takes too long to gel. Looking around the team we have the strength in depth to deal with the midweek and weekend fixtures throughout February and March.”
For Riley it starts with a big game against the Reds this Saturday and like many he is hoping that this could be the start of the great escape. He knows it is climb that not many teams have traversed but with his enhanced squad, selection is the first thing on his mind.
“It is good to have selection headaches, something we haven’t had much of, of late. If anyone is carrying a slight knock we can rest these players which is a luxury we haven’t had recently. The team is feeling positive and it is a good place to be.”
If the fully fit Stags can pick up a positive result by beating both the weather and of course Redditch United this Saturday, it could be the springboard to survival.