Woodham should have been 'selfish' in Windsor's final pre-season game

Frimley vs Windsor. Photo: Paul Smithson

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Mick Woodham chose to shuffle his pack for Saturday's final pre-season game against Frimley Green and it backfired spectacularly, with the Royalists losing 6-0.

In opting to give minutes to some of the squad's fringe players, he accepts they lost some of the flow and rhythm from last Tuesday's impressive 3-1 win over Uxbridge FC, their only victory of a mixed pre-season campaign.

Woodham questioned his selection for the rest of the weekend, and feels confident his tried and trusted starting XI would have claimed a positive result against Frimley, however, he wanted to be fair to players who've been on the fringe of the action in pre-season.

Woodham isn't a great fan of pre-season, preferring the cut and thrust of competitive matches, where points or cup places are on the line. He accepts the side have been below par at times in their friendlies but he's confident they'll step up when it matters most.

“We had a good win against Uxbridge last week at home and what I should have done is kept the same team,” he said before adding: “It would have been good enough to win Saturday’s game. I chose to change it to give minutes to some of the boys who have spent four or five weeks mostly training. But in shuffling it, we got punished.

“If I was selfish, I probably wouldn’t have changed the starting XI from Tuesday. It wasn’t that it was stronger, it’s just the boys on Saturday didn’t have any flow or any rhythm.

“At least I’ve learnt something.

“The damage was done in the first 15 minutes; we were 3-0 down. I’d say for 20-25 minutes we were the better side, but it was clear it wasn’t going to be our day in front of goal.

“We conceded a silly free kick which made the score 4-0 at half-time. In the second half, I wanted us to convert our chances and not let in any more goals but that didn’t happen.

“All in all, we got what we deserved. We were sluggish, made mistakes, and when four or five opportunities came our way, we didn’t take them.”

On a pre-season that brought the Royalists three defeats, one win and a draw, Woodham added: “I hate it. It’s been horrible. It’s like three days a week the garden looks nice and on the other four the dog comes in and ruins it.

“There’s so much disruption with illness and people being away. But it’s a process you must go through.

“Listen, some games have been okay, but others haven’t been so good. To be honest, I don’t take too much notice of pre-season. You can have a fantastic one and then if you don’t win your first few games of the season, everyone starts looking at you and moaning.

“We’re below par, that’s for sure. Right now, we are nowhere near where we want to be but in a month’s time we might well be.”

Windsor kick off their new campaign at Royal Wootton Bassett Town in the extra preliminary round of the FA Cup on Saturday, before hosting local rivals Ascot United at Stag Meadow in their first league game on Saturday, August 13.

“I believe we'll give a good account of ourselves when the pressure is really on,” he added.

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