Pat Rayment is adamant that Spalding United have the strongest starting 11 in Evo-Stik League First Division South – when everyone is fit.
The Tulips welcome Kidsgrove Athletic to the Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field for their fifth league game of the season on Saturday (3pm), but have only four points to their name.
Boss Rayment maintains that his side could easily be sitting top of the table with maximum points, but reckons injuries and unavailability have wrecked the first month of their season.
The Tulips haven’t been able to get striker Mark Jones on the pitch, while talisman Andrew Tidswell missed the start of the season.
Now key defender Nathan Stainfield faces a spell on the sidelines after injuring his wrist and Ash Burbeary (hamstring) will be assessed ahead of the weekend.
Although he’s relishing the competitiveness of the league, Rayment admits he’s feeling frustrated at the situation his side find themselves in.
“If we can get everyone firing we’ll be in business,” said Rayment. “It’s fair to say that 11 v 11, we are the strongest side in this league when everyone’s fit.
“Put it like this; we’ve got the weapons to win this league, but at the moment I can’t get the ammunition – and we’re firing blanks.
“I genuinely believe we have a team capable of going up a few more levels, we just need to get them on the pitch.
“It’s a funny old league, though. Look at Brigg Town – we hammered them earlier in this season, but they’ve got six points.
“We could easily be sitting top, but find ourselves 14th. I’m not complaining, though. This league is where we want to be.”
Kidsgrove will arrive at the Sir Halley with just one point to their name from four games. With Spalding targeting at least a place in the play-offs, it’s a game they feel they must win.
With Stainfield out, Michael Leary will slot into central defence alongside Kern Miller, while Peter Bore or Lewis Webb will play at right back.
Meanwhile, Rayment is hoping to speak to a mystery striker later this week.
Having been released from a Conference side over the summer, their target is currently on trial with a League Two side.
Spalding also visit Coalville Town in the league on Tuesday night (7.45pm).