HIGHGATE United joint-boss Paul Smith will have to utilise his squad to the full this weekend with a number of players unavailable for the FA Cup clash against Leicester Road.
Robbie Bunn (holiday), Marco Adaggio (holiday) and Duane Courtney (honeymoon) will miss Saturday’s preliminary round fixture, while George Curry, Trevor Edwards (tonsillitis) and Lei Brown (shoulder) face late fitness tests.
Despite the absentees, Smith remains confident there is enough quality in the squad to cope.
“We have got a very good group and it gives others the chance now to step up and stake a claim for themselves,” said Smith.
“I have had some very good tussles with Leicester Road before and I know their manager very well.
“He gets them playing the right way and it’s going to be a tough test as they have nothing to fear being a division below us.
“I had them scouted so we’ve done our homework but it’s down to the players now to do what I ask of them on Saturday.”
Highgate go into their FA Cup ventures on the back of two stalemates in the East Midlands.
Smith’s side were second best against Long Eaton on Saturday but managed to come away with a 0-0 draw before claiming a 1-1 draw at Dunkirk on Tuesday night.
Dunkirk took the lead in the 35th minute when a clearance from keeper Brad Catlow bounced off Sam Oji to give Josh Wright the easiest of tap-ins.
Aaron Brown equalised for the visitors direct from a 25-yard free-kick with ten minutes remaining.
“It’s safe to say we got away with blue murder against Long Eaton and I reiterated to the players they have to start turning up if they want to win games,” said Smith.
“The reaction I got on Tuesday was ten-fold and we were unlucky with the result but we have to take the positives.
“We are the only unbeaten team left in the division and this team is continuing to learn.”