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Flexibility has been key to Worcester City’s season
WHEN money is tight and recruitment opportunities are limited, having players that can be deployed in a variety of positions is essential.
Worcester City, perhaps more than most, have a raft of players comfortable in more than one area of the pitch.
With just 18 players currently in the squad and finances not readily available to increase that number, flexibility is an asset.
Only last Saturday, Ellis Deeney, a mainstay at left-back, made a rare foray into midfield to facilitate a formation change against Guiseley.
Rob Elvins has played in just about every conceivable position in his four seasons at the club and is now City’s dedicated holding midfielder but has slotted in at centre-half when required this term.
That is one position where Worcester are not short of options, with captain Stuart Whitehead, Jacob Rowe, Lee Ayres, Shabir Khan and Elvins all capable in the role.
Birmingham City youngster Graham Hutchison was also brought in on loan for a month earlier in the campaign while Whitehead was injured.
However, having too many options might just be proving to be City’s undoing in that choosing the strongest 11 is difficult.
Having variety is all well and good but keeping a settled side might help provide the consistency City are striving for.
Interestingly, the recent matches against Droylsden and Vauxhall Motors were the first time since August manager Carl Heeley has, for whatever reason, named the same team in back-to-back fixtures.
At centre-half there have been a plethora of pairings this term involving Whitehead, Rowe, Ayres and Shabir.
Most recently, Whitehead and Ayres have been the preferred choice, largely because Rowe had to move to right-back, one area where cover is sparse, while Tyler Weir was out injured.
That partnership, though, was broken up with Ayres going down with a virus last weekend and, with Weir fit again, Rowe was restored in the middle.
With Shabir injured, there could be more changes again at Halifax today (3pm) as City seek their first win in four matches.