Harrogate Town gaffer Simon Weaver has dismissed any thought his players aren’t hungry for success.
Weaver backed dropped trio Adam Bolder, Michael Woods and Anton Brown to return to the Town squad all guns blazing for Saturday’s hosting of Oxford City (kick-off 3pm).
Adam Nowakowski and Craig Nelthorpe have replaced Bolder, Woods and Brown in midfield for the past 135 minutes of football.
The star trio, in the stands for Town’s last clash against Workington, were hauled off at half-time in the 3-3 draw at Boston United.
But Weaver refuted any dispute with the players and said he would stick with the winning formula from the Workington clash.
He said: “There hasn’t been one argument this season. It’s about getting it right and the players understand that.
“They have all reacted positively.
“Craig Nelthorpe has come in and he deserves his place. Both he and Adam Nowakowski have been outstanding in the middle.
“We played some of the best football we have played against Workington. We have to be consistent. Any manager in the land would stick to that.”
And the gaffer rubbished criticism of Woods’ hunger to take Town to the next level.
He added: “I don’t know where it’s come from. Woodsy has got big desire to do well.
“It’s always easy for people to have a go at flair players. He gets a bit of stick but it’s unfair.
“If people think he has a lack of hunger, they should come down to the club on Tuesday and watch him in training.”
Leigh Franks is suspended for Saturday’s clash and Matt Bloomer is likely to partner Shane Killock at the back.
Weaver said he would stick with the same midfield and strikeforce that disposed Workington 3-0 at the CNG Stadium.
Striker Liam Hardy has bagged four goals in six appearances this term and Weaver rewarded his impressive form with a contract earlier this week.
And the gaffer hailed the frontman’s link-up with new loan signing Dayle Southwell.
“He came back in pre-season looking sharp and I told him to prove that he can string games together,” he said.
“You can’t keep that type of player on non-contract.
“We have been pairing him with Dayle in training. The little give and goes and balls around the corner have been very sharp and they are banging them in for fun.”
Town beat Oxford City 2-1 on the opening day of the season, but that victory was scrubbed off due to the registration problems that stung the club last month.
Weaver anticipates a physical and aerial test from the 21st-placed Southerners.
“They have a lot of big units,” he added.
“We shouldn’t be fooled by their league position. A couple of wins and they will be up to mid-table.
“It will be a difficult challenge.”
Town also travel to Bradford Park Avenue in the West Riding FA County Cup on Monday night (7.45pm kick-off).
Weaver is expected to hand starts to the club’s squad players
“Without being disrespectful to the cup, it’s not massively in our thoughts,” he said.