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Next man up

Captain calls for character

20 December 2019

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Skipper Michael Doyle says the entire squad has to stand up and be counted as we deal with injuries over the Christmas period.

Ben Turner and Jim O’Brien both look set for lengthy spells on the sidelines, and we’re tasked with five games in the next fortnight, starting in Halifax this weekend.

And Doyle says everyone has to weigh in as we look to pick up points throughout the busy festive period.

“It’s a case of next man up,” stated the captain. “Everybody has to stand up and be counted.

“It’s up to us to keep going. The lads coming into the team have to take the opportunities given to them and get as many results as possible.

“The whole squad is needed because it’s a busy period and, although we’ll miss the likes of Jim and Ben, we can’t come away from games wondering when players are going to return from injury.”

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Doyle isn’t phased by such an intense run of games, with the 38-year-old enjoying this time of year.

“This is one of the busiest periods and, for me, the best,” he revealed. “The games come thick and fast, you get bigger crowds and there’s a buzz about matches.

“You get loads of opportunities to play and test your body, so I think you have to look forward to Christmas.

“This period is the reason you have pre-season – this is what you build for.

“You want to play all these games, and losing people to injuries means you have to be prepared to make sacrifices and have the right mentality.

“If we get some good results, we’ll be right back amongst it, so it could be a really good opportunity.”

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First up is FC Halifax Town on Saturday, and we’ll hope to build on our Buildbase FA Trophy win at Chesterfield last week when we visit The Shay.

“It’s crazy how football works because our last league win was away at Woking in probably our most complete performance,” said Doyle.

“We hit a roadblock after that, so coming away from Chesterfield with a win was important because it’s got the monkey off our back.

“We have to use that and keep building to get results, and I think Halifax will play in a similar way to ourselves so it could be an open game, which we’ll look forward to.”

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And the skipper says it’s important we kick on between now and the end of the campaign to give our supporters some success to celebrate.

“Our fans always travel in large numbers so it’s important we start rewarding them a bit more now and get up to where we belong,” Doyle added.

“It’s been turbulent for them and they’re crying for a bit of success - we want to give them something to cheer about.

“I want to be part of that more than anyone else.”

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