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Playing Surface Struggle - 7 February

Royal Wootton Bassett assistant manager Matt Bulman admits his team do sometimes struggle away from home due to inferior surface quality throughout the league. Writes Jonny Leighfield Chief sports writer for The Swindon Advertiser

matt bulman hellenic league footballBulman (pictured) was speaking ahead of Bassett’s trip to Bishops Cleeve in the uhlsport Hellenic League Premier Division on Saturday – a team Sam Collier’s men are yet to play this season. Bassett’s assistant manager believes that because his largely inexperienced team are well used to playing on ‘the best pitch in the league’, they are often caught out when a poor surface requires them to change their tactics.

However, Bulman said he has heard good things about the playing area at Bishops Cleeve’s Kayte Lane and is confident Bassett will be able to play their normal game on Saturday. Bulman said: “The surface will be better than what we played on at Lydney last weekend. We have the best pitch in the league, so it’s always tricky to go away from home. We adapt our tactics to our pitch, so the younger lads find it difficult sometimes – especially those that haven’t been around the block and consequently don’t know how to deal with those situations. We haven’t picked up any fresh injuries which is great, hopefully we’ll have a few more back in too.”

Although just three places and four points separate the pair ahead of Saturday’s fixture, Bishops Cleeve have five games in hand over Bassett and at least one over every other team in the division. Bulman therefore believes little should be read into Bishops Cleeve’s league position and revealed Bassett are expecting as tough a game as one could wish for.

He said: “Bishops Cleeve are right up there, they have good players and good facilities, so we can expect another tough game. We’ve lost two on the bounce, so we are determined to put that right. The pitch we play on will suit our style of play. We haven’t played Bishops Cleeve yet, but they’re in a false position given they have a few games in hand. Playing them twice will be tricky for us.”

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