The second string have not had a league outing for nearly three weeks since suffering a 4-0 defeat to an international quality Arsenal side at Barnet. They have filled the gap in the fixture list with training ground friendlies against Gillingham and Aston Villa, with wins being secured in both.
“We’ve had a break since our last game,” said Colin, looking ahead to a return to action. “We’ve played a couple of friendly games and won both.”
After taking on a strong Arsenal side with a youthful team the boot could be on the other foot tonight as Colin has the likes of Sergei Rebrov, Tim Sherwood, Ben Thatcher and Oyvind Leonhardsen at his disposal.
“We’ve got a far different team playing to the last one we had out. I hope that the players we have out tonight give the effort and enthusiasm that the young boys gave last time — if they do they’ll get something from the game.
“We want them to go there and get 90 minutes of fitness into their legs. If they get themselves into the game early and work hard and not worry about the surroundings or who they’re playing against they’ll end up enjoying it and that’s what we’ve got to try and stress to them.
“I don’t know what type of side Leicester will have, we can only look at it from our point of view, as we did even in the Arsenal game against opposition far superior in terms of age, quality and all sort of things.”
Against Leicester will be the third match on the comeback trail for Anthony Gardner and Ben Thatcher. Colin reports that the comebacks are ticking along nicely.
“They’ve done alright and I think it’s important to get minutes into their legs really. Ben hasn’t lasted 90 minutes yet, hopefully tonight, but it’s a gradual process and there’s no point in playing a full game and then missing three days training because of stiffness or a strain.
“First and foremost he’s got to feel more confident on a football pitch and he seems to be that way. Three or four weeks down the line, that’s where we we’re looking for him to be back to match fitness and that only comes with playing games.”
Colin Calderwood’s reserve troops return to competitive action on Monday evening with a home game against Leicester at Stevenage, kick-off 7pm.