Wisbech boss says injuries are making consistency impossible
Wisbech Town manager Brett Whaley says his job is not much fun at the moment after an unprecedented catalogue of injuries has seen him struggling to put out competitive starting line ups.
The Fenmen had only 11 fit players and just two fit defenders going into yesterday's 4-1 home defeat to Shepshed Dynamo, and the situation doesn't look like it will improve any time soon.
Looking towards the midweek home game with Loughborough Dynamo, Whaley said: "On Saturday, we came in with 12 players who could play. On Friday, we had three potential signings coming in but none of them happened, and at the moment we have no idea what the line up will be on Tuesday."
"The night before or the morning before every game at the moment we are trying to sign players and you don't want to be doing that. Obviously it's a hard sell because of where we are.
"We have six lads out at the minute who would be in our starting eleven and that's the way it's been all season.
"We had to go into the game with only three recognised defenders, one of whom was Aaron Hart who was carrying an injury, against a decent attacking side and at this level you are not going to get away with that.
"Right now this is not much fun. After every game, we are thinking, 'what can we do for the next game?' We hope to get a signing over the line before Tuesday and we should have Ben Richards back.
"But we have no consistency in team selection, we don't know how we are going to line up, we are not training at the minute as games are falling on Wednesdays and we cannot risk training anyway in case we pick up more injuries.
"It feels like I am making excuses but I'm not. As a management team we are struggling with this. We do not want a conveyor belt of players, we don't want to keep bringing new people in, but the injuries are meaning we have to.
"For the last six weeks I have been trying to sign players every day and that's why we are where we are. There are only three players who have been involved in every game so far, where you would expect to have 10 or 11. So no-one has really created any partnerships.
"Life will change when we are mainly playing just Saturdays and get a bit of rest but that's a week away and we have two games before then, and most of our injuries are at least two weeks away from being resolved.
"There's a bit of frustration around football at the moment about lads having to play Saturday, midweek and then Saturday when, because of Covid-19 lockdowns, some of them have not played for nine months, and it's no coincidence that we have so many muscle injuries.
"We have borrowed players from Parson Drove and Peterborough Sports but both those squads are short now because of injuries too."
Despite the injury problems, Whaley still felt his side could be performing better. He added: "We still felt we were not first to enough balls, and at 2-1, when we had a chance to get back into the game, we gave the softest of goals away.
"Shepshed haven't really had to work for their goals but we have to work for ours every week. There's a real intensity at this level and you have to be on it for 90 minutes, and we don't do that.
"There's times in the game when we look right at it and we're competitive but there's too many spells when we are not at it and you get punished. We give soft goals away and, when we had a chance from eight yards out, we miss it. Sides don't miss them against us."
He also picked out three players whose commitment should is shining out. "Aaron Hart should not have been playing at all but he went through it for us.
"Oli Williams was making his full debut and ran himself into the ground and that's what we don't see enough – he's the first player to go down with cramp for us this season and that's because he has given everything.
"Danny Draper was going to play up front today, he ended up starting at right wing back, switched to right back and ended up at left back. He did brilliantly because he doesn't play in those positions, but he put his body on the line for us."