CHIPPENHAM Town manager Nathan Rudge says he’ll be ready to help shore up the Bluebirds’ back line whenever needed after returning to the pitch on Tuesday.
The Chippenham chief took a step back from playing after he was sent off in the first game of the season at Hemel Hempstead but ended his month-long sabbatical on the sidelines in the 1-0 victory over Bashley.
“I did stop playing for a while but I have missed it a bit to be honest and with young lads like Tye (Tyrone Mings) and Brandon (Barnes) coming in, I just felt that they needed someone with a bit of experience out there,” said Rudge, who played the full 90 minutes at centre-back as the Bluebirds kept their first clean sheet of the season.
“Nurturing people by talking to them is a massive thing that we don’t have in this team so it was man-made for me to do the job, which luckily paid off.
“It was good and I was blowing a little bit towards the end but you expect that. Keeping a clean sheet is what you’re out there to do.
“It’s not going to be every week and we sit down every week to put out a team to beat the opposition, so if it needs a bit of experience or fresh legs, we’ll just play it by ear.
“But I’m available to be selected.”
Assistant boss Richard Fey added: “It was something that we’d been chatting about since Saturday and I thought that he was head and shoulders above the rest with his talking, his organising and his experience, especially in the last five minutes when Bashley got on top a bit.
“We have been looking at the defence because we’ve been leaking goals -we’ve changed the goalkeeper and Tyrone (Mings) has come in at left-back and showed what a good signing he’ll be.”
Chippenham travel to Evo-Stik League Southern Division One South and West outfit Bishop’s Cleeve in the second qualifying round of the FA Cup on Saturday.
Toby Osman, Shaun Lamb and Alex Kite were rested against Bashley with Ashley Williams suspended this weekend and Mings cup-tied.
James Guthrie is a doubt with a fractured wrist while Scott Rogers missed Tuesday’s win through illness.
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