Talented winger Jenk Acar has been backed to lead Spalding United to safety ahead of his long-awaited return to the starting line-up this weekend.
Tulips chief Matt Easton considers Acar to be his best attacking threat and admits that he’s been badly missed over the past three months.
Easton confirmed that Acar will start in Saturday’s tough-looking trip to Evo-Stik NPL East Division play-off chasers Tadcaster Albion (3pm).
It’s a game that Spalding would have feared little over a month ago and they’d have likely aimed to frustrate their hosts and shut up shop.
But Easton feels his side, who are two points above the drop zone in 17th after a weekend off, can now realistically look to mix it with the league’s big boys.
“Nothing much changed over the weekend,” said the Spalding supremo. “It still looks like two from seven for the relegation places.
“I’m still upbeat. We’ve got the side that we want playing the style of football that we want. The squad morale is good and the group is together – if we go down, it’ll be my fault.
“I’m confident that won’t happen. We have some winnable games coming up and I’m sure that if we get a few wins, that’ll be enough. I’m still not panicking.
“Having Jenk back is huge for us. He’s our most potent attacker and will be like a new signing for me.
“He’s massive for us and is chomping at the bit to be involved in the team again.
“If I can get 60 minutes out of him and he comes through unscathed, that’ll be a big deal. He’s full of creativity and draws lots of fouls for us. He’ll have a major impact on our fortunes and can make the difference.
“We’ll certainly go to Tadcaster looking to win. They’ve come into a bit of form and it’ll be hard, but there’s no way we’ll go there and sit back.
“Maybe a month or two ago we’d try and defend for our lives. Now we feel we can go to these places and play our game.
“We’ll obviously work hard and do our best to nullify their threat, but I now see absolutely no reason for us to go into our shell. We’ve got a competent team and we can do better than parking the bus.”
The Tulips will be without suspended duo Rudy Misambo and James Cullingworth for the trip to North Yorkshire, but will be boosted by Neal Spafford’s return to the squad.
Teenager Charlie Hart should also be involved after sealing a loan move from Lincoln City. Easton describes the 18-year-old winger as “technically fantastic” and feels that he’ll be a welcome addition to his options.
But he doesn’t anticipate adding any other new faces to his squad ahead of the transfer deadline at the end of this month.
The chief added: “We’re very happy with the squad, everyone is settled here.
“Obviously you never say never, but I’d maybe expect us to let one player go rather than bring any more in.”
Saturday’s hosts Tadcaster have been stronger away from home this season and currently sit fourth in the table – just three points off second place. They won the reverse fixture 1-0 thanks to a last-gasp strike from Chris Howarth and are on a run of four victories on the spin.