Barratt admits balance of Magpies side has been disrupted

Maidenhead United boss Alan Devonshire will hope to have James Comley and Rohan Ince back in contention for Saturday’s visit of Barnet after both Montserrat internationals missed Monday’s narrow 1-0 defeat to Eastleigh at York Road.

The influential pair, who’ve formed a settled midfield trio with the hard-working Ryan Upward, have missed the last few games while on international duty in the Caribbean.

Comley was able to return for Friday’s 2-1 defeat to Weymouth, but Devonshire admitted afterwards he probably wasn’t fully fit after flying back from representing the Emerald Boys in CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers only days before.

He was rested for Monday’s loss to the Spitfires.

It’s no coincidence that performance levels have dropped off since the pair – and Dan Sparkes, who has also missed recent matches through injury – have been missing from the squad. Sparkes was fit enough to return against Eastleigh and Devonshire will want to have all three players fit and firing for the visit of second bottom Barnet, who have collected just 13 points all season. “We found a nice little set up in the middle with Rohan, Coms and Uppy,” added Barratt.

“There was a good balance in there and it’s been disrupted a bit. But everyone is pushing for a starting place. There has to be some rotation and players have to be given a chance. It’s hard to impress straight away when you’re coming back from injury or haven’t played for a while. I’ve found that even though I didn’t think I’d been out for that long, just four or five weeks.

“It’s tough getting back up to speed, but I’ve started on Friday and Monday and my legs feel really good. I’m feeling fit, strong and I now just want to play as many games and do as well as I can performance wise between now and the end of the season.”

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