Uwe Rosler has been keeping a keen eye on how his players perform at Poolfoot Farm, with competition for places rife ahead of tomorrow’s home clash with Oldham.
Despite ankle injury concerns over Conor McAleny and Amari’i Bell, Rosler has options across the board after a string of impressive performances in Town’s last match against Leicester in the Checkatrade Trophy 10 days ago.
Rosler made seven changes for that game, in which centre-half Baily Cargill marked his first start with a goal.
He was not the only player to stake a claim for a starting shirt against the Latics as Godswill Ekpolo impressed at right wing-back and also scored his first goal for the club.
Wes Burns also broke his goal drought after starting alongside Ash Hunter, both putting their case forward for a first League start of the season.
Midfield duo Markus Schwabl and George Glendon also impressed Rosler against Leicester.
The head coach has said all season that every one of his players knows how to get themselves into the team – and out of it – through their performances both in matches and on the training pitch.
Rosler said: “Amari’i rolled his ankle. We need to see how that goes.
“There is big competition for places and for me that is very good. I’m a big believer in competition for places and nobody can rest.
“Baily Cargill played really well (against Leicester). He is a ball-playing centre-half who can also score goals. The two guys in the middle, Glenno and Markus, were very good and I think that (result) will be very good for us preparing for the two home games (Bury are Tuesday’s visitors).”
August manager of the month nominee Rosler is pleased with the way his young side is evolving.
He said: “We are totally aware that we have the youngest squad in the league (with an average age of exactly 23). You could see that throughout pre-season. We have had ups and downs at the beginning of the games and in periods during games.
“Tuesday was different – we were very solid and very consistent in our approach with and without the ball. The mentality was very strong and we never stopped working.”
As for Ekpolo, he added: “We have to highlight Godswill. The boy has been unbelievable in his mentality every single day – the way he comes to training and works so hard.”