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Interviews

Points over places

League table not relevant yet, says Ardley

13 February 2020

Neal Ardley says our focus for the remainder of the campaign is simply to meet our points target and not worry about what other sides are doing.

We’re embroiled in a congested battle for a place in the top seven with a host of teams, including Saturday’s visitors Woking.

We’ve dropped two places since our last Vanarama National League fixture as sides around us made the most of their matches but now we’ve got games in hand on most others in the mix.

And it’s because of that Ardley feels there’s little point looking at the table at this stage.

“We can’t help it if teams play in the week and we don’t, so we can’t get stressed about the interchanging of league positions,” said the boss.

“We’ve got a points total to hit and all we can do is hope that when we get to 46 games we’ve done that.

“If we do we should be there or thereabouts. The main focus for us all is to be in the play-offs, that’s the season’s work and our main priority.”

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Woking will be out to end a seven-game losing streak on the road and avenge the 4-0 defeat we handed them when we visited the Laithwaite Community Stadium in October.

And the boss expects a much tougher affair, especially with Storm Dennis on the horizon.

“Any team that comes to Meadow Lane has a point to prove,” said Ardley. “I don’t expect an easy game.

“We played really well at their place but a lot of their players work during the day, which makes it hard for them in night matches.

"They’ll come here with a week of preparation and the wind and rain we’re due this weekend will be a leveller, too.

"It’ll be a lot tougher than it was at their place earlier in the season.”

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Our Buildbase FA Trophy win at Yeovil has led to more fixture changes, with the schedule set to get even heavier if we progress to the two-legged semi-finals.

And Ardley says training has had to be closely monitored this week to ensure our injury list doesn’t continue to grow as we move into crunch time in the campaign.

“It’s a bit of a catch 22 because we’re trying to get through without injuries but also have to train well enough to produce an intense performance on Saturday,” he explained.

“We gave Connell Rawlinson an extra day off because he was stretching every muscle in his body at Yeovil and Alex Lacey has had a slight niggle so he’s not trained.

“We’re wrapping people up in cotton wool so we can get to Saturday and be able to put in another performance of the level we have lately.

“We shouldn’t moan because the issues we're facing have come from success and we want to do well in every competition, but going Saturday-Tuesday for a month will be really tough and cumaltive fatigue might lead to injuries.

“We need one or two bodies if we’re going to get through it.”

There was good news on Damien McCrory, though, who's only expected to be out for two-four weeks with the knee injury he sustained at Yeovil on Saturday.

Click here to get your ticket for the Woking match. 


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