Settled Saints looking forward to Weston-super-Mare trip

St Albans City joint-managers, Graham Golds and Jimmy Gray. Picture: BOB WALKLEY

St Albans City joint-managers, Graham Golds and Jimmy Gray. Picture: BOB WALKLEY - Credit: Archant

Jimmy Gray has said that having a settled squad has been partly responsible for the upturn in results and performances for St Albans City.

The joint-manager, together with Graham Golds, made just one change last Saturday for the visit of Wealdstone and has been able to name more-or-less the same squad for the last few weeks after a summer of comings and goings.

And having the same lineup playing the same system has allowed players to fully appreciate what is required of them.

Gray said: “We know the system we’re playing at the minute only allows us to play with one striker on the pitch. We have to pack the midfield out to try and have any chance of winning games at this level.

“But the boys know what they’re doing. We work tirelessly on Monday nights on our shape. The wide boys that play in a five system need to know when we’ve got the ball we play a 4-3-3.

“I think having Louie [Theophanous] wide on the left still gives us the goal threat.

“The settled squad and the settled style of play has taken time to come.

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“But if you look from the summer at the amount of changes we’ve had to go through, and then the amount of injuries we had in the early part in the season, it hasn’t been forced upon us. It’s always been a formation that suits us.

“Even towards the backend of last season we got four good results on the trot. The players understand what they’re doing and if the left hand knows what the right is doing, you give yourself a chance in every game.

“I’m pleased that this is coming through but we’ll keep working on it and hopefully get the fruit from it.”

This Saints travel to Weston-super-Mare tomorrow (Saturday), the side that City beat to qualify for the first round proper of the FA Cup.

That day a goal from Lee Chappell ten minutes from time gave St Albans a hard-fought 2-1 win.

The Somerset team are currently one place and two points below Saints but Gray expects another tough game.

He said: “There’s no gimmies in this league.

“They’re a good side. They play a system that suits them.

I’m not sure what their home form is like, I don’t think it’s been too great if I’m honest, which is why they are down there with us.

“We need to work hard in training, get to grips with our shape and what we’re going to do down there.”