RHYL manager John Hulse is not getting carried away by the 6-1 rout of Connah’s Quay Nomads in the Loosemores Cup in midweek as he prepares to claim three Welsh Premier points from Airbus UK Broughton at Belle Vue tonight.
“It was a definite improvement against a young Nomads team but we still missed a lot of chances – far more than we should have,” he said.
“I can’t praise the Nomads lads enough because although they were up against it they battled and chased from first whistle to last. I thought it was a tremendous effort.
“But we still need to be more ruthless in the box and after making their best start since they entered the League of Wales, Airbus will be a real test.”
Lee Hunt, who returned against Nomads, is expected to link up again with Dave Cameron after both strikers served out their three-match suspensions, but Craig Garside, who collected an injury on Tuesday, is rated as extremely doubtful.
“He’ll have a late test but I don’t expect him to play,” added the manager, who apart from James Brewerton (knee) will otherwise have 17 of his 19-strong squad to draw on.
Hulse, who rates Airbus player-boss Gareth Owen as still among the best players in the league, has called on his team to maintain a high work-rate to match that of tonight’s opponents.
“They will be coming here in good shape and the role of the home crowd will be important again,” he said.
“The supporters have been brilliant as they always are.
“The players and staff really appreciate this and try to respond, so a big turn-out tonight, getting behind us, is just what we want to maintain our fine start.”
Airbus bid to get back on track following two defeats, writes John Bridgwater.
Having started the season so well, boss Owen admitted his side were now falling short of their early high standards after suffering successive 1-0 losses against Connah’s Quay and most recently Carmarthen.
Last weekend’s reverse was their first at home, with the Wingmakers left to reflect on failing to take their chances against a well-organised Carmarthen side.
“It’s frustrating as the lads have not been performing to the standards they set earlier in the season,” said Owen.
“At the moment, we’re lacking a bit of consistency.
“We had our chances against Carmarthen, it could have been 5-5, but in the end it looked like only one goal would decide it, and unfortunately they got it.”
Owen is weighing up whether to make some changes to his team as he bids to turn around Airbus’ fortunes with the trip to Rhyl.
The Wingmakers have picked up just one point from their previous three league outings to Belle Vue.