Key man Craig Thompson is set to return for Whitstable Town this weekend to boost manager Nicky Southall
Key man Craig Thompson is set to return for Whitstable this weekend.
Striker Thompson missed Town’s FA Trophy replay win at Potters Bar on Monday due to work commitments.
But he’ll be in the side when Whitstable return to Ryman League Division 1 South action at Tooting & Mitcham on Saturday.
Player-boss Nicky Southall said: “Craig’s our talisman and our leading scorer and you miss players like him.
“He holds up the ball and gives us a platform to build off, plus he’s a strong character who roughs up defenders.”
Whitstable have problems in other areas with centre-halves Ian Cox (calf) and John Guest (groin) carrying injuries, while midfielders Steve Hafner and James Morrish, along with forward Jordan Wells are suspended.
Tooting away were the opponents for Southall’s first game in charge after succeeding Justin Luchford last season.
The player-boss believes his side have progressed since then.
He said: “We lost 3-2 at Tooting in my first game but we’re a different animal now.
“It takes time to put your stamp on a club and how you want to play but I feel we’re going in the right direction.
“The boys have bought into it and are enjoying the professional side of what we’re trying to do.
“There’s nothing I haven’t seen on a football pitch – I’ve been there and worn the T-shirt a million times.
“The key now is for the players to be consistent in the way they’re thinking and in our performances because we want to start climbing the league.”
Town may be 19th in the table but have conceded just 14 goals in 12 games.
It’s the fourth best defensive record in the league, with only Hastings, Leatherhead and Guernsey conceding fewer goals.
Southall said: “You can only win games if you get the right foundations and we are looking strong at the back.
“We’ve had good players out in Ian Cox and John Guest but we have an abundance of talent at centre-half.
“If you get the spine of the team right, you become hard to beat.
“Once you’ve got your goalkeeper, centre-halves, centre-midfielders and centre-forwards sorted, you don’t want to tinker too much.”
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