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Rocester manager Dave Shaw is confident of Midland Alliance survival

By UttoxeterPostandTimes.3522974.UttoxeterPostandTimes  |  Posted: January 24, 2014

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DAVE Shaw is not planning on further Rocester recruits – and believes his current squad is good enough to avoid relegation from the Midland Alliance.

The Romans travel to Heather St John’s tomorrow, kick-off 2pm. It is a game Shaw expects to take something from.

“If we get three points off Heather St John’s we’ll really drag them right down,” said the Rocester manager.

“They lost 6-1 (against Kirby Muxloe) in their last game .

“They are not having the best of times. I would expect with the team I have got now to go on and win games against sides around us.

“Gornal Athletic have been running teams close, which shows they have improved.

“Heather and Heath Hayes look like the ones who have been struggling.”

Shaw has brought in several new players since taking over from Mark Kavanagh, who was removed at the start of December after winning just two Midland Alliance games over the 2013/14 campaign.

Strikers Dan Brown and Luke Shaw, who have netted five goals between them in as many games, were quickly brought in.

Midfielder Tom Brown, and more recently Gresley loan signing Marc Strzyzewski have also arrived at Hillsfield.

Shaw said: “I am happy with the squad. I’m not really looking to bring anyone else in.

“I think we have enough (quality) to stay up.”

The Romans have suffered a string of postponements this month.

Rocester have lost three out of their four games to the weather.

Shaw said: “We’ve now got that settled side together I keep talking about.

“We need a run of games. That’s what we need – and I think we’ll be alright.

“We’ve a lot of games in hand on the teams around us.

“If we won those games in hand we would move up to fifth from bottom.”

While Shaw may be happy with his current squad, the postponements have left the Rocester boss with limited opportunity to work out positions best suited to the personnel at his disposal.

“I am learning more about the squad and things are coming together,” said Shaw.

Tom Ellerton is likely to remain in wide midfield for the Heather game after taking up a position on the flank for the 3-3 draw with Gornal Athletic.

“He (Ellerton) looked a threat – that’s something we have learned,” said Shaw, who also praised defender Dan Wain following string of consistent displays.

Strzyzewski has been another plus – and Shaw is hopeful the Gresley defender, who operated in midfield against Gornal, remains at Hillsfield for the rest of the campaign.

“If he does stay for the rest of the season we’ll be over the moon,” said the Rocester manager. “His first two tackles showed he was there.

“He wants to put a marker out which I like.

“Marc’s an old head, a good talker, good on the ball – and breaks play up as well. I think the fitter he gets the better he’ll get.”

In other team news for tomorrow, Aaron Dillon is back in the squad after completing a suspension.

Tom Brown is also set to return following injury, but Brent Upton remains out with a fractured ankle.

Rocester will only have a few days to recover from Saturday’s game before hosting a Tividale side on Tuesday evening who have lost just one of 11 away games – winning nine.

Shaw said: “In the last two games at home we have beaten Dunkirk 3-0, and in the second half against Gornal they were not in it.

“We are unbeaten in two games at home. If we can take something off Tividale it sends out a bit of a message to the rest of the league.”

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