Di Paola: Pre-season preparations are causing a bit of concern

Horsham V AFC Uckfield (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-151025-195418008
Horsham V AFC Uckfield (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-151025-195418008

Horsham manager Dominic Di Paola says their pre-season campaign has a disjointed feel to it and admitted he is ‘concerned’ with their preparations.

Despite winning three of their four friendly matches, Di Paola has a number of injury worries that have led to a lack of numbers.

In an ideal world, the Hornets would be rotating their squad as they build up for their return to the Ryman League.

But low numbers meant they were forced to borrow players from neighbouring Loxwood in their 2-0 defeat against Whitehawk on Saturday.

Against Loxwood on Tuesday, when they ran out 4-2 winners against the Magpies, Di Paola bemoaned: “I was not massively happy as there were a few mistakes. Players are carrying knocks and pre-season overall has been a bit up and down.

“We played well in the first half an hour of the first half, after that, we did not get a great deal out of it.

“On Saturday, they played their strongest side in the first half and as expected it was a stern test and we did not stand up to it.

“In the second half, they played more of their squad players, but we played a lot more like how we want to.

“We have not seen everyone in all the games, it just seems one of those pre-seasons. Players are picking up injuries and it’s hard to tell exactly where we are.

“There are good things and bad things. The goals we have scored have been really good goals, but we have let in some sloppy goals, which I never like, but we have been makeshift at the back.

“It’s hard to gauge and you look at the fixtures and we are two weeks away, it’s a bit concerning. One positive was that Lee Carney has come through 75 minutes and he seems to be looking fit.”

Horsham are continuing to look at former Redhill and Crawley Down youngster George Cousins as pre-season progresses.

The ex-Brighton & Hove Albion player featured against both Hawks and Loxwood.

Di Paola added: “He has missed a lot of football and asked to train with us as he lives quite locally. We are going to have a look at him.”

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