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Forest Green: Rovers boss prepared to bruise some egos

By The Citizen  |  Posted: April 25, 2014

Ady Pennock

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Bruised egos could be the order of the day when Forest Green complete a disappointing season at home to Wrexham tomorrow (5.30pm).

Rovers boss Ady Pennock chose to name only four substitutes at Luton Town on Monday – including 17-year-old academy striker Dan Martin – despite having a trio of senior but unfavoured professionals fit and available in Ed Asafu-Adjaye, Steve Brogan and Magno Vieira.

Hunger will be a key ingredient Pennock looks for when he names his squad to face the Dragons, and he is determined to end the campaign on a positive note after his injury-hit side were beaten 4-1 at Kenilworth Road.

He said “In the first half we played football in the right areas and defended properly, so I was really pleased.

“Our ball retention in the second half wasn’t good enough and we got punished by a very good Luton side, but I think the scoreline was a bit harsh on us.

“Young Daniel Martin deserved his chance after impressing us in training and I was really pleased for him to make his debut on an occasion like that.

“There were other people I could have put on the bench but there were reasons why I chose Daniel and they were my reasons.

“The players have got to put a shift in for this football club. We’ve got one game to go and they have got to put on the shirt and perform like they did at Luton.”

Currently sitting 10th in the Skrill Premier table – their final position in each of the last two seasons – Rovers can still match the club-record eighth placed finish achieved by Jim Harvey's side in 2007/08.

But Pennock has far grander ambitions for the long term, having witnessed champions Luton's promotion party at a packed stadium.

He said: “It was a day to inspire us. We’ve got to aim for more days like that – playing in front of 10,000 people.

“That’s what the chairman wants and that’s what I want, so we just need the players to strive towards that as well.

“There is a lot to do in the summer but I’m already looking forward to pre-season and getting the boys back fully focused.

“You never know, next year it could be us in Luton’s position.”

Al Bangura is available to Pennock again after missing the Luton trip through suspension but fellow midfielders Marcus Kelly and Bradley Jordan will not be hurried back from their injuries.

Defensive quartet Jamie Turley, Dale Bennett, Aarran Racine and Chris Stokes again miss out, meaning Paul Green is likely to continue as a makeshift right-back.

Wrexham are guaranteed their lowest-ever finish in their five seasons in the Conference, having similarly failed to match expectations.

Former Nuneaton Town boss Kevin Wilkin replaced Andy Morrell in the hot seat at The Racecourse in February and is expected to oversee a major squad overhaul during the summer.

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