CHORLEY manager Garry Flitcroft admitted he could not jeopardise a potential trip to Wembley by naming a full-strength line-up for his side’s Evo-Stik League Doodson Cup defeat to Witton Albion.
The Magpies’ eight-game unbeaten run came to an end on Tuesday night when they went down 4-1 to their Premier Division rivals at Victory Park.
Eight members of Flitcroft’s team had amassed just 16 starts between them this season.
But the former Blackburn Rovers midfielder insisted he had to make changes with a massive FA Trophy tie at Tamworth on the horizon.
Should Chorley win Saturday’s last 16 encounter – and knock out a Skill Premier outfit for the second round running after claiming the scalp of Forest Green Rovers – they would move into the quarter-finals and within two matches of a place of the Wembley final.
Flitcroft said: “We’ve got a lot of games coming up.
“We’re in the semi-finals of the Lancashire Trophy, we’re in the FA Trophy and we’re going to try and win this league.
“So we need a full squad and we need to keep the fitness levels of the lads up.
“I don’t want to lose any game.
“But we’ve got a tough schedule coming up, a big schedule.
“But I’m all up for sending a team out there to win and I thought we did that against Witton.
“I thought the result flattered them because I thought we played some decent football.”
The youthful Magpies, whose most experienced player was ex-Rovers striker and Flitcroft’s player-coach Matt Jansen, were beaten by a brace of goals from Joshua Hancock and one each for two of their former stars, Ali Brown and Chris Simm.
Darren Stephenson reduced the arrears.
Flitcroft will bring his big guns back for Tamworth.
The Magpies are expected to take around 400 fans to the Lamb Ground after the club confirmed it is putting on a fifth supporters coach for the third-round clash.
Flitcroft, whose side play two steps further down the non-league ladder than Tamworth, said: “I’m always confident in my lads.
“We’ve worked them out and had them watched and we’re going to be taking a massive following.
“They’re going to make some noise and we’ll be going out there to enjoy it and have a good day like we had against Forest Green.”
Chorley are urging fans travelling on the club coaches to be on Brindle Street/Duke Street at least 15 minutes before the noon departure.