SLOUGH Town joint-manager Jon Underwood has explained the importance of being tactically versatile in the National League South, writes Rob Stevens.

The Rebels

have improved season after season since


and fellow boss Neil Baker took charge in May 2013, but the management team are keen to evolve.

Slough used pre-season to trial different tactics and formations so that the team can adjust and not be predictable in the new campaign.

Underwood told the Observer: "It's important in this league that you can adjust at times and respond to other teams.

"We have worked hard on some different systems and feel we've got different formations we can play now. We know now that if we change our shape people will know their jobs.

"Sometimes that's down to personnel. If you've not got a particular player then you might need to play in a certain way.

"That's something we've evolved over the last season or two. We were probably a little bit predictable in years gone by.

"It worked for us then so we didn't change it, but we've learnt that you do need some different tricks up your sleeve."

Slough get the new season under way with a visit to Arbour Park from newly-promoted Dorking Wanderers this Saturday (3pm).

The Rebels will be without defenders Mark Nisbet and George Wells plus striker Daniel Roberts, whilst Josh Jackman, Joe Grant and Warren Harris could return from injury.

Underwood commented: "We know how we want to play formation-wise but there's probably just a couple of question marks over personnel.

"Every manager wants a straightforward pre-season where people are fit and available and where you play well and know your team.

"Whenever you don't have that as a manager it's frustrating. You're like a bear with a sore head when you come up against these challenges but that's football management.

"Whether it happens now or in October, you have spells in the season where you have things that need to be overcome.

"Ours are now and the benefit with the majority of those situations is we've know about them for a week or two and are planning for them.

"We've had time to get it right so there are no excuses and hopefully we will have it right for Saturday."