By Liam Ryder
Chris Hardy is looking to field a strong side when Middlesbrough visit the Turnbull Ground in the North Riding Senior Cup semi-final, despite the crucial play-off six-pointer against Nantwich Town coming up less than 48 hours later.
In terms of team selection, Whitby will be without suspended captain, Steven Snaith, and forward Matty Tymon, following his late dismissal against Halesowen Town.
Hardy told whitby-town.com after the Stafford Rangers draw: “at that stage of the competition, we’ll be looking to put a strong side out.
“There may be a change or two from today but at the same time it will be the strongest side we can field.”
Understandably, Hardy will have to use squad rotation in order to cope with this tough period during the season and he admitted that the busy schedule could force changes.
“We’ll assess how players are and we’ll make some judgement calls going into Thursday,” Hardy added.
“If we’re playing Tuesday night, it gives the boys that extra recovery time. The boys are not getting that recovery time.
“We have a fit group but we’ve just got to manage the injuries and the knocks, because when you’re playing as many games as we are, they tend to build up.”
New signing Ryan Caulfield could be in the starting line-up for the clash with Hardy mentioning that “Ryan will be in the squad.”
Caulfield gives Whitby an extra attacking option and the game against Middlesbrough could be his chance to show the fans what he is capable of.