JOHN EDWARDS is hoping the first appearance of summer signing Harvey Smith can spark Studley into form after a frustrating start to the season.
Edwards described Smith as the best player Studley faced last season in Midland League Division One but the attacker, snapped up from Coventry Copsewood, has been recovering from injury.
However, Bees joint-bosses Edwards and Wayne Bunn are optimistic he will feature in the squad to face Heath Hayes at the Beehive on Saturday, when the return of goal-getter Dan Carter will be another boost to lift the team after last weekend’s 2-1 defeat at Uttoxeter Town.
“Harvey has looked good and sharp in the last couple of training sessions and I’m hopeful he will be involved on Saturday,” said Edwards.
“With Dan Carter back as well, we’re hoping they will spark a few people around them.
“We are not performing as we should be, that’s clear. We expect more and I think we’ve been in every game we’ve played but one win and three defeats in four games isn’t good enough.”
Edwards suggested there will be changes for Saturday’s clash with Heath Hayes and, with the Bees having a second home game on Monday against Coventry side GNP Sports, it will be the chance to rediscover their confidence.
“There won’t be sweeping changes, probably three or four for Saturday,” said Edwards. “The players who have not been playing will think they deserve the chance and I have to agree.”
Edwards felt Studley had begun brightly at Uttoxeter and they opened the scoring through Josh Westwood.
Jake Avery levelled with a simple finish after the ball fell to his feet and Ethan Lowe bagged the decider after collecting an errant back-pass from Luke Hennessy before the break.
“One or two defensive errors are costing us,” said Edwards. “When you do that at one end and you don’t take your chances at the other end, that’s why you lose games.
“On Saturday, at 1-0, we were looking very good but they got an equaliser after a deflected shot fell to the feet of their forward and then a back-pass dropped to them to score the second.
“We looked anxious. It’s difficult to instil that confidence when the forwards feel under pressure to score because you can’t keep a clean sheet and the defenders see the forwards missing chances.
“We’ve got a couple of home games now and we need to go out and be positive.”