BOURNEMOUTH head coach Will Croker insisted his decision to name a strong line-up for Saturday’s clash at Newbury Blues came down to him being a “traditionalist”.

Lions travel to Monks Lane having named a familiar provisional team to take on the Berkshire side, who are battling relegation with two games of their season remaining (3pm).

Croker’s men have already sealed second spot in South West Premier and will visit either Barnes, Guernsey or Tring from London & South East Premier on Saturday, April 28 for a chance to be promoted to National Two South.

But instead of resting some of his key names ahead of that crucial fixture, Croker decided continuity would be the right option.

He told the Daily Echo: “We knew we potentially had four big games after Havant and all the players were prepared for those. As far as we are concerned, it’s business as usual.

“I am a bit of a traditionalist. The result potentially determines the futures of the clubs at the bottom.

“If we were to win on Saturday, Newbury could be relegated. If we don’t, somebody else could.

“I am aware of the fact there are a lot of coaches who are salaried and their futures potentially depend on what we do on the pitch.

“As far as I’m concerned, it would be doing a disservice to the league and the other clubs if we were to field a weakened team and get rolled over cheaply. Potentially, that could cost somebody their job.

“From a holistic perspective, that would not sit comfortably with me.”

Lions suffered a shock 27-21 home defeat to Newbury on the opening day of the season in September.

But Croker believes his squad has come a long way since that setback.

He added: “The approach from the team to the Newbury game first time round was something we questioned.

“As a coaching team, we had to take our share of the responsibility – maybe the boys came into it feeling like it was still a bit of a pre-season fixture. They got a bit of a shock that Newbury came out so pumped up.

"Our squad is now a very different beast. We have managed to adapt, adjust and to be where we are now is an incredible result.

“We will field the strongest team we possibly can. That way we will go into the play-off with the best possible chance of having the guys established in their moulds.”