GEORGE Rooney has urged Bromsgrove Rovers fans to cut the club's current crop of players a bit of slack.

The Victoria Ground boss made his plea ahead of Rovers' trip to Gloucester City in the Dr Martens Western Division tomorrow (3pm).

"The fans get frustrated because they've seen the best players non-league football has had to offer over the years and some of them don't tend to make allowance for the quality of the current squad," said Rooney.

"That's not decrying the lads we've got here, because we've got a good dressing room that has carried us a long way and one or two of them could go on to become very good players.

"But it's going to be very close at the top with seven places up for grabs for the one step-up promotion and we're well down the pecking order in terms of finances. But if we can hang in there, be patient and pick up a player or two along the way we've got a chance although we're never going to carry the kind of quality Halesowen and Redditch can afford. We're several years away from that."

Tomorrow's hosts Gloucester have picked up just one point from their last nine including a 5-0 defeat at Taunton and 2-1 defeat at home to Yate but Rooney is still wary of a side rated one of the best in the division.

"They were well below par on a horrible night at Taunton but should have won by a cricket score against Yate," said Rooney.

"They also could have won at Solihull the other night when they drew 0-0 so I don't think there is too much wrong with them."

Paul Szewczyk, who scored four in Saturday's 5-1 win against Shepshed, will bid to add to his goals' tally with a ringing endorsement from his manager.

"Paul's got a bright future in non-league," said Rooney. "But he's got to be more forceful. He's built like a light heavyweight but sometimes is too nimble and dainty when you look at what potential he has."

Meanwhile Rooney was delighted with goalkeeper Paul Wyatt's display against Shepshed following a couple of high-profile mistakes in recent matches.

"We mustn't forget this is Paul's first full season in non-league football and his basic keeping is wonderful," said Rooney.

"I've got a friend who is a goalkeeping coach and he believes if he can improve on his decision making he could make the Football League."