Wagga City Wanderers' revolving door at selection will continue this week as they brace themselves for another tough trip to Canberra.
Just as the Wanderers prepare to be boosted by the return of Luke Stevens and Kyle Yeates from suspension, they are set to lose a couple of others for the game against ANU.
Prince Thompson will miss this week's game after making a big impact since his mid-season arrival, while Watban Ibrahim remains under an injury cloud and could remain on the sidelines alongside James Klein (unavailable), Logan Flanagan (knee) and Josh Timothy-Nesbitt (ankle).
"We probably haven't realistically been at full-strength this year, we've been close, but you've got to be if not at full-strength, you've got to be close against those top teams," Wanderers coach Dave Leonard said.
"Unfortunately we weren't (last weekend) and they punished it for us."
The Wanderers will be looking to bounce back from an 8-0 loss to O'Connor Knights in Canberra last Sunday.
It was Wagga City's biggest loss of the NPL Two season and Leonard wants to see a response this week.
"Definitely for the boys to show some pride and bounce back," Leonard replied when asked what the focus for this week was.
"What better opportunity than to do it against ANU and put in a good performance. I think that's really, really important for the guys.
"We spoke about not finishing last and also really giving the teams above us, those top four, five teams vying for those positions, a hard time.
"We didn't achieve that last week so we want to turn that around for this week and put in a better showing."
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Leonard said last week's loss took it's toll on the team, with the group feeling down after the big loss.
But he is confident at their best, the Wanderers can challenge the top teams and prove competitive.
"When we're at our best and we're playing the top teams, we match them really well. But when we don't, they're going to hurt us," Leonard said.
Leonard is not hiding away from the fact that injuries are making the Wanderers' task this season much more difficult. He also put up his hand and conceded they made a wrong call early in the year.
"What we did this year, we've spoken about it too, we cut ourselves at about 29. You generally go in with a squad of 32 to 34 but we made the decision to go in pretty skinny, knowing it was a long season but really relying on the boys to be right," he said.
"Look that was probably in the end the wrong decision in hindsight.
"It would have allowed us to rotate a little bit whereas these boys have had to be available week in, week out, taking injuries into account.
"It would be nice just to get a full squad, or three quarters of a complement, but it's not been that way."
ANU slipped to second spot on the table last week after a 2-2 draw with Canberra White Eagles.
The Wanderers remain in sixth spot, just two points ahead of Brindabella and Weston Molonglo.
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