CHIPPENHAM Town boss Mark Collier admits he will have to have a re-think over his starting XI for their opening National League South game on Saturday following Tuesday night’s friendly defeat to Swindon Town.

Three first-half goals for the visitors left the Bluebirds with a mountain to climb in the second half and despite strikes from Will Richards and Dave Pratt, Collier’s side came up short on the night.

And having mixed the side around in both halves, as much to confuse any watching scouts as anything, Collier says certain players have come to the forefront of his thinking for Saturday’s game with Havant and Waterlooville.

“In the first half we were absolutely atrocious,” said Collier.

“When we got, maybe, a little bit more of the team on the pitch in the second half, it was a different game.

“I just said to the lads who came on at half time, ‘you just need to win the second half’, because it was literally a game of two halves from our point of view.

“We got on the pitch and pressed the ball against a good Swindon side on the night.

“However, it’s given me lots of clues for the weekend, certainly.

“Lots of people have pushed themselves into the starting line-up and maybe two or three have pushed themselves out.

“That’s what pre-season friendlies are for. We’ve got a lot from the game, maybe more than we have from previous games and I am now looking forward to Saturday.”

Having bolstered his squad during the close season to ensure he had not only the quality but also the strength in depth needed for the step up in division, Collier now concedes he will have to have some difficult conversations with certain players as he looks to trim down his unit ready for Saturday.

“We’ve got 23 and we’ve got too many,” he added.

“Not many managers will say that, but, at non-league level, it’s too many because you can’t keep 23 happy.

“On Saturday, I can only name 16 and that leaves the remainder sat in the stands twiddling their thumbs or looking for another club.

“I’ve got some difficult conversations with some people but I am trying to progress and build the squad.

“The National League is a step into the unknown and we’re going into a big unforgiving division, however, I sat here last year and said the same thing about the Southern League Premier Division, which we finished up winning by 11 points.

“We’ve got good players, the progression has been good from the new players and I think we’ve made some decent signings and we need to make sure that gels together for August 5.”