Brackley Town manager Jon Brady feels the club’s FA Cup run combined with the recent flurry of away fixtures has left his players jaded as they look to get back to winning ways.
Saints have picked up just six points from a possible 21 during a hectic recent schedule that has seen them play eight games in 29 days, with seven of those fixtures coming away from St James Park. Despite that, Brady’s side are seventh in the Conference North table and remain in touch with leaders North Ferriby United.
Brady said: “I don’t think it’s gone drastically wrong, but it has been a tough period. I think the euphoria of the FA Cup, although it was great at the time, has left the team a little jaded and we’ve had lots of travelling from Saturday-Tuesday games which has been difficult. We need to get energy levels back.”
Brackley’s match at home to in-form Guiseley was postponed last weekend, allowing Brady’s players a much-needed week off ahead of this Saturday’s home encounter with 15th-placed Gainsborough, who enjoyed a remarkable 5-4 win over promotion-chasers Altrincham on Tuesday.
Brady added: “I think the game being off was a blessing in disguise. We gave the players a week off and they’ll be ready to go now. We’ve got a small, 17-man squad and in the last few weeks we’ve had five injuries. So it’s not ideal, but the players have been magnificent.
“North Ferriby are seven points clear but we’ve got to forget about the title and just focus on our next game.
“Gainsborough will be tough, they’ve had mixed results recently. They had an excellent win on Tuesday but lost 5-1 to Stockport, so we know on their day they can be very good and we will have to be prepared. It’ll be great to be back home, we’re unbeaten at home this season so we’ll be confident.”
Curtis McDonald remains out through injury but Gary Mulligan may make the bench, while Brackley could hand a debut to new signing and experienced midfielder David Bridges, who joined from Bury Town, with Elliot Sandy leaving on loan to King’s Lynn.
“David Bridges is very experienced, he’s won the Conference title and scored five goals from midfield for Bury Town. It’s a good addition,” Brady said.
Saints have also brought in striker Stefan Moore from Leamington, with Danny Newton going the otherway.