BRACKNELL Town player-manager Carl Davies accepts it is not going to be easy in keeping all of his squad happy, writes Dave Wright.

The Robins have been busily recruiting throughout the summer as they prepare for life in the Isthmian League and there is now strong competition for every position.

“It is going to be very hard to keep every player happy and I am not expecting I will be able to do it,” he admitted.

“If they are happy to be on the bench, then their attitude is not right. They should not be happy sitting there.

“There is a lot of competition for places now and there is not a lot between players. Those sitting on the bench are not lesser players, it’s just the player in front has played well in the match before, so he has kept his shirt.”

And Davies further warned his players by saying: “One bad game and your shirt could go. Then it will be up to you to win it back.

“Everyone will need to be at their best if they are to stay in the team. We have games to win, so that means we will put out what we think is the best 11 week in, week out.”

Davies and head coach Geoff Warner do not have much time in deciding their strongest side as they play their final friendly away to Thame United this Saturday before going into their opening Isthmian League game against Waltham Abbey at Larges Lane a week later.

“We will be treating the Thame game as if it was a league match,” said Davies. “We will probably go there with a squad of 16, it’s a match we want to win.”

His hopes of fielding anywhere near his strongest side at Hungerford last Saturday were totally killed off due to the absence of at least eight players through injury and commitments not related to football.

“It was just unfortunate we had players away this weekend in addition to those who have picked up knocks,” stated the Robins manager following their 1-0 defeat at the hands of their National League hosts.

“So to have all those missing and compete as well as we did was a credit to the lads, I was pleased with that.

“There was not a lot between the two sides.

“It was a bit disappointing not to have our best side available to give them (Hungerford) a better game, but I was happy with those we did have here.”

However, there was one aspect that did leave Davies disappointed.

“I thought we were a bit lethargic at the start of the second half,” he commented.

“We were not at our usual tempo and it cost us in the end as we conceded just a few minutes into the second half.

“It is something we need to address as it has also happened in a couple of previous games.

“When we came out after half time, we were not at it from the start, and we need to be especially when we are up against decent teams.”

Among those missing at Bulpit Lane was Robins’ latest signing, striker Gavin James, who last week agreed to follow Liam Ferdinand and Josh Helmore from FA Vase winners Thatcham.

“It is good news. He was keen to join us and we are pleased to have him on board,” said Davies.

“He may still be a bit raw, but he is very direct and very fast, as he showed in our win (4-0) against Windsor last week when he chased back to win the ball, and the next thing he is in the opposing six-yard area.

“He is definitely an asset for us.”

The Bracknell manager confirmed that he has given Khalid Senussi the opportunity to look for another club.

He explained: “He deserves more minutes than he is getting with us, so we will help to find him another club, but it will be on a dual registration basis.”

Skipper Dave Hancock could be involved at Thame on Saturday after missing much of pre-season.

“He is nursing an injury to his heel which is taking a long time to go away, but he is hopeful of playing this week,” concluded Davies.