Gary Waddock says speculation of his future has not affected preparation for tonight’s FA Trophy replay Bedford Town – his focus is solely geared towards Aldershot Town’s youth team!
Shots boss Waddock has been strongly linked to the vacant manager’s job at League 1 Bristol Rovers, as exclusively revealed by The NLP on Sunday.
Waddock’s future was thrown into doubt after Saturday’s disappointing first round home clash with the Step 3 Eagles where a combination of a lengthy injury list and a lack of spending power meant he could only name a 13-man squad in a 3-3 draw at the EBB Stadium.
Many questioned whether Waddock would be in charge of tonight’s replay at the New Eyrie, but the 56-year-old former Republic of Ireland international is still at the helm and has a more pressing issue to deal with – a lack of players.
Two more injuries picked up at the weekend left the club with just 10 fit first-team players to select from, forcing the club to seek permission to get the replay moved to a later date.
After that request was refused, the Shots announced that they would take a squad made up of Academy players for the trip to Bedford, severely dented their chances of a lengthy Trophy run and potential first ever trip to Wembley.
Asked about speculation, a coy Waddock simply told the Shots’ website: “I get on with my work, I do the best I can with the resources that I’ve got here. That will never change.”
He added: “The only thing that’s affecting our preparation is the injuries we’ve got.”
A statement released on Monday confirming the club’s stance for the replay stated: “Due to the insurmountable amount of injuries we have sustained to our first team squad we will be sending a squad made of Academy players to tomorrow night’s replay against Bedford Town.
“Due to FA rules we could not add to our first team squad in time for tomorrow night’s replay as players must be registered to the club the day before the original tie and we could also not postpone the fixture to a later date as competition rules require the replay to be played by Thursday night at the latest despite our best efforts to have the tie played before the 2nd Round tie at Chesterfield was due to take place.
“At this moment in time we only have 10 fit first team players available for selection and have the prospect of four games in 10 days over the Christmas period. This wasn’t a decision that was made lightly, but we felt we couldn’t risk losing additional players in fixtures that are above and beyond our league schedule and not be able to have a squad to fulfil our league games over this busy period.”
We felt we had to make supporters aware of this situation and incredibly difficult decision we’ve had to make in advance of travelling to Bedford.
Tuesday night’s replay is still an official first team fixture and we encourage supporters to get down to Bedford and support the young lads!