STEVE Claridge admits a new formation didn’t work against Weston-super-Mare, as Salisbury prepare for the season opener against Mangotsfield United.

The Whites struggled in the first half against Weston with a 4-4-1-1 formation, with Marvin Brooks up top with Kane O’Keefe just behind him and Chris Shepheard on the left, but Claridge admits it was the wrong system.

“I wasn’t sure if it would work or not and it didn’t and I will hold my hands up and say that.

“But it was a team that I wanted to have a look at.”

He added: “It was a system that I wasn’t quite sure about and we didn’t make it work. I’ve learned that and that’s what these games are about.

“Obviously I’m disappointed that the system didn’t work and disappointed that we didn’t make it work and that we didn’t play it better than we should have.”

The Whites boss tried the formation as he feels that his side will not be able to play football on the ground when they go to Mangotsfield and said: “With that in mind, I was looking at getting the big lads in the team.”

Salisbury still don’t have a full strength squad available, as players are still away and some players have only just returned.

“It’s been a really fragmented pre-season,” said Claridge.

But he added that he is happy with the squad that he has, saying: “We’ve got about 17 squad members, we are around where we want to be financially

“I think anybody now who comes in will need to be better than we’ve got.

“It’s not just a case of signing players, it’s a case of making sure that we sign the right ones.”

With Claridge adding six players to the squad, many of whom have never played together, it will take time for them to gel and he said: “There are a few players who are not quite sure of each other’s games so they are learning.

“Hopefully players will understand as we go forward and understand each other’s games better.”

All players will be available for Salisbury’s final pre-season friendly against Basingstoke Town on Saturday, August 5 and Claridge said: “Everyone will be back for Basingstoke.

“That will be the one where we will go ‘this is the way we want to play with regarding to starting the season against Mangotsfield.’”