MANAGER Paul Smith has criticised his fringe players as he admitted they had made selection ‘easier than expected’ for today’s (Saturday) FA Vase clash at Dunkirk.
With no fixture scheduled in Midland Football League Division One last Saturday, Bromsgrove Sporting set up a friendly with Barnt Green Spartak on Tuesday night.
Smith said he hoped the match would give players who had been starved of opportunities the chance to stake their claim ahead of the trip to Dunkirk.
However, they did little to impress Smith who described Bromsgrove’s 1-0 defeat to the Midland Football League Division Two outfit as the ‘worst performance of the season’.
“In all honesty, we were awful,” he said. “We did not perform and I find that strange because there were half a dozen players out there who have been been knocking on my door asking for game time and thinking they should be in the starting 11.
“So this was an ideal chance against a side from the level below to stake a claim ahead of a huge game on Saturday, but those who were given a chance did not grasp it.
“The only thing it has done is made selection easier than expected.”
Smith is now likely to select the same group of players that have guided Bromsgrove to a five match winning streak which they will be confident of extending.
Their opponents, Dunkirk, currently languish second bottom in the Midland Football League Premier Division having won just two of their first 13 games.
However, having seen the Nottingham side push Boldmere St Michaels close on Saturday, Smith insisted his side will need to be at their best at the Ron Steel Sports Ground to progress.
“A lot of clubs would have folded after going 3-0 down very quickly, but they didn’t as they kept plugging away and got two goals in the final 20 minutes to make the game very interesting,” Smith said.
“They are a side that don’t stop working and as their league position doesn’t look great they will be keen to keep their cup run going.
“So I am under no illusions and the players have been made aware they will have to put in a very good performance to come away with a win.”30