STEVE Cuss praised the professionalism of his players and argued Wimborne Town’s squad had been galvanised despite trimming the numbers at Cuthbury.

Three weeks ago, Aidan Sainsbury and Pat Wilson followed experienced defender Gary Middleton through the exit just as Magpies were preparing for a run of fixtures against a host of frontrunners in Southern South & West.

Bournemouth Poppies midfielder Scott Costello dual registered with Cuss’s team but has yet to feature with no further transfer activity since the trio left.

However, after securing two wins in four matches against promotion-chasing sides, Cuss reckons he now has the right blend, despite being numerically depleted.

Reflecting on recent progress, Cuss told the Daily Echo: “The atmosphere in the dressing room is fantastic at the moment. It is never easy to deal with when you have to let players go but the rest have handled it superbly well.

“In a way, it helps that the players are fully aware they may be needed for 90 minutes week after week and if anything, it has brought us closer together.”

Magpies take on another high-flying opponent tomorrow when North Leigh, who will arrive just one point shy of the play-off places, visit Cuthbury (3pm).

Defender Ian Oliver is unavailable but will be replaced by returning centre-half Adam Costello. Top scorer Mark Gamble, recently sidelined through illness, should complete his recovery ahead of the clash.

Magpies: (from) Harvell, Arnold, Maybury, A Costello, Phillipson-Masters, Blake, Griffin, Kemble, Burton-Hemmings, Davidson, Stokoe, Gamble, Webb, Roast, Grose, Hall.