JOHN Coventry says he is not concerned at the lack of players in his squad as the new season looms large.

The East Thurrock United manager watched his side taken apart 4-1 by Ryman North division rivals Aveley on Saturday, with Rocks never looking like making it back into the match after falling behind.

Coventry said his team’s exertions against Luton Town last Wednesday (the game finished 1-1) really took its toll on his players.

“We really struggled and our performance level was not good enough against Aveley. We wanted to win this match, but I wasn’t able to rotate my squad as I wanted as we have so many players out at the moment.”

Three of Coventry’s regular back four (Ryan Sammons, Simon Peddie and Tom Stephen) were unavailable, whilst Mitchell Gilbey is sidelined with an injury.

Rocks took an early lead in their first match of the weekend tournament, held at Aveley’s Millfield ground, with former Concord Rangers striker Jacob Cleaver finding the net. However Aveley hit back to take a 2-1 lead into half-time before easing to the win in the second half.

Rocks also lost the second match 2-0 against Romford on Sunday, although Coventry said he played the game with a team of youth players.

Despite the weekend’s results, Coventry says once the season starts players will become available and he will bring in reinforcements.

“It is always the way. Players start the season on the bench and look for first-team football. There will be many talented players about and if this is the way we have to go then so be it.”