Barking boss Gardner knows it's going to be a tough ask on his squad against Tooting
PUBLISHED: 10:00 01 November 2019
Barking manager Justin Gardner has admitted it's going to be a tough ask on his depleted squad against high-flying Tooting & Mitcham.
The Blues will make the trip to the Imperial Sports Ground on Saturday as they look to cause an upset by building on their recent surge in form.
But the boss knows it will be hard as they were due to face Isthmian Premier Division outfit Margate in an FA Trophy replay last night (Tuesday) after drawing 0-0 with them on Saturday at Mayesbrook Park.
"That's why I wanted the game put to bed on Saturday as it's not ideal playing Margate on Tuesday," Gardner said.
"It's going to take a lot out of us to go play against a team near the top of the league on Saturday.
"It's going to be a lot to ask for my boys as we've got a very small squad at the minute.
"I'm working with 15 to 16 fit players. Saturday we only had four subs and one of them had just come back from injury so wasn't really fit enough to play.
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"I'm going to have to be smart with training on Thursday in terms of what I'm asking them to do so we're in good shape for Saturday."
The Terrors have had a strong start to the season in the Isthmian South Central, but former Aveley manager Gardner says he will be prepared.
"I'll have a report on them as I do with every opposition, but I do know a few of their players," he added.
"A couple have played for me and one or two have played for my assistant. We do know about some of their individuals."
Captain Abs Seymour made his 100th appearance for Barking in their 0-0 draw on Saturday which pleased Gardner who has managed him for a number of seasons including at Aveley.
Gardner said: "He has personally played for me for five seasons now if I'm not mistaken, a couple of seasons at Aveley and three years at Barking, so he's been very loyal to me.
"To complete 100 appearances for any team in non-league is a massive achievement these days as people move from club to club week to week.
"It's pleasing and shows we have a good relationship and that he must enjoy playing for me."