Gosport Borough will run the rule over their two new boys in the Russell-Cotes Cup quarter-final clash at Sholing tonight (7.45pm).
Former Yeovil winger Liam MacDevitt and on-loan Eastleigh striker Tony Lee are both expected to start against the Boatmen after boosting Alex Pike’s resources in recent weeks.
Both players have had to be patient with the team in a decent run of form, but assistant boss Mick Catlin believes it’s an ideal opportunity to get some much-needed match action into some of the squad.
Catlin said: ‘We’ve got Liam MacDevitt and we haven’t had the chance to have a look at him yet.
‘We were impressed with him in a trial but it’s been hard to get him into the team since he arrived because we have been playing well.
‘Tony has also come in on loan and we want to see what they can do.
‘I would imagine both of them will start but people like Elliot Wheeler and Tom Dunford probably need some minutes as well.
‘We’ve used the competition to give a few players some game time in previous rounds.
‘We will mix it up again, although it might be a little bit different as we haven’t had a game for a while.
‘We will need most of the players who will be starting on Saturday to get back into the groove.
‘It might mean we will put out a slightly stronger side that we would have done if we had played all the fixtures.’
Borough’s players have had to show patience in recent weeks with Pike showing faith in a settled side.
But Catlin has dismissed suggestions of any players becoming disillusioned.
He said: ‘It’s a bit of a juggling act.
‘Nobody has come to us and told us they are not happy.
‘When you are on a bad run and not getting results, players are knocking on your door saying they deserve a chance.
‘At the moment, they can’t really do that because the lads have been doing well so they stay in the side.
‘We might look to freshen things up with a heavy workload.
‘But with the games off, the workload hasn’t been too hard so the lads have got to be patient.’
The weather could yet intervene once again but after the derby clash with Hawks was postponed at the weekend, it didn’t mean a chance for the Borough squad to put their feet up.
Catlin said: ‘It’s frustrating because you prepare for the games as normal.
‘We have been doing the same amount of training and probably even more. I’ve heard it’s 50-50 whether this one will beat the weather but hopefully we can get out there.’
Midfielder Andy Robinson is sidelined with a minor hamstring problem but Catlin is expecting a difficult test against the Southampton-based Wessex League premier division side.
Catlin said: ‘They are a good side and they always produce good young players.
‘They’ve got a good youth set-up and they keep bringing them through.
‘It’s credit to them that we have taken a few in Mike Carter, Lee Wort and TJ Cuthbertson and they have played at our level regularly.
‘We always expect a tough game and this one will be no different.’
Meanwhile, the trip to Hawks has been rescheduled for Tuesday, February 9 (7.45pm).