Paul Hurst says managers are not 'tinkering' with the Grimsby Town squad for the sake of it
PAUL Hurst has defended Grimsby Town's squad rotation policy following their fourth successive defeat.
With a hectic Conference run-in and FA Trophy final to fit in on Sunday, Hurst and co-manager Rob Scott have shuffled their pack in recent matches.
Another five changes were made ahead of Tuesday night's defeat at Nuneaton.
And after probably the worst performance of the whole campaign, some fans are questioning the wisdom of the managers' 'tinkering'.
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The fact that Tuesday's no show came two weeks to the day after perhaps Town's best display of the season – a 1-0 triumph at Forest Green – makes the situation all the more puzzling.
"Ultimately some players aren't performing, so it's about trying to give people opportunities to perform," Hurst told the Telegraph. "Some maybe have had more chances than others.
"But results up until recently have suggested that our views are right.
"We are looking for a settled side but we know the schedule we've got. People might think 'they're footballers, they should be able to play' but it doesn't work like that.
"We're in March, it's been a long, hard season and the pitches have been heavy, although it wasn't on Tuesday."
Despite this week's humbling in Warwickshire, the bosses retain faith in a squad that appears desperately short on confidence.
This is largely the same group of players who has taken Town to the Blue Square Bet Premier summit on more than one occasion this season.
"I look at the players we've got and I think they're too good to continue on this run of not picking up points.
"When we came up against a different team, we look at their squad and their players and it's very rare when we think 'I wish he was in our squad, or 'I'd swap him for him'
"The players have done very well over the months so far, but we've got to see this off. Part of that comes from belief
"We haven't seen any moping and we won't stand for that. The players have trained hard and with an enthusiasm that we need."
Hurst continued:"We keep drilling the message into them that they're good players and they got here for a reason.
"They're still the same players but you maybe just see a little bit of confidence drain from one or two.
"While we are tough task-masters, at the same time we are willing to put an arm around a player when it's needed.
"With others you constantly need to be on their backs, and that's just different characters."