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Can't afford an off-day

Strong performance needed, says Cox

28 February 2020

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Neil Cox says we need to be at our best to overcome a fearless Aveley in the quarter-finals of the Buildbase FA Trophy on Saturday.

The Essex outfit are three divisions below us in the football pyramid and visit Meadow Lane in the biggest match of their history.

But the Millers have beaten higher-league opposition in six straight rounds and will provide a potential banana skin this weekend.

So, much like against Belper Town in the Emirates FA Cup, Cox is anticipating a tough afternoon.

“They’ve had really good results and are in form so we have to be organised and do everything the best we can,” said the assistant manager.

“We need to play at a tempo that can cause them problems and be ready for a battle on a pitch that won’t be easy because of the weather.

“It’s their cup final and a game we want to win so we need everybody playing well and focused.

“They’re going to enjoy the day and will try to stop us so we’ve got to get the ball, get in behind and make them keep chasing.

“We’ve done our homework on Aveley. A friend of mine knows them really well and they can cause us problems but it’s about what we do.”

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With our visit to Fylde postponed again and now scheduled for Tuesday evening, we’re facing another three-game week and there’ll be some rotation to combat that - although this weekend's game will come to soon for Alex Lacey and Damien McCrory despite their involvement in Friday's training session.

“We’ll make a few changes to help us be ready for the games at Fylde and Barrow, and the players coming in will want to keep the shirt for Tuesday,” Cox said.

“The boys want to get as many wins as they can. That’s their focus, so they have to keep fit and be ready for chopping and changing until the end of the season because everyone will get an opportunity.

“The referee said the pitch was unsafe at Fylde on Tuesday and he was scared there might be a serious injury, so we’ll get our heads down and go there again.

“If we go Saturday-Tuesday until the end of the season and keep picking up wins it will be good.”

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And, despite the vast number of games to play, Cox is looking forward to the run-in as we stay in the hunt for glory on two fronts.

“We’re in a good position and we can’t wait,” he smiled.

“We just want to get these games on because we’ve got some good ones coming up and it’ll be a nice challenge.

“Early in the season we weren’t fit enough to go Saturday-Tuesday because the boys hadn’t had a pre-season but if we get the injured lads fit, ready and playing minutes it’ll be beneficial for everybody.

“I can’t wait for the run-in.”

Cox also confirmed Alex Lacey and Damien McCrory both trained on Friday but won’t be available to return this weekend.

Click here to get your ticket for the big quarter-final clash. 


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