9:00am Friday 1st March 2013
By Simon Spurgeon
Alan Devonshire his setting his buoyant Braintree Town players a challenge.
The Iron head to Hartlepool United’s Victoria Park ground tomorrow to face Gateshead and head into the game on the back of confidence-boosting wins against two of Blue Square Bet Premier’s biggest clubs – Grimsby Town and Luton Town.
Taking six points from the Mariners and the Hatters has placed Braintree within three wins of achieving manager Devonshire’s 50-point target that he feels will guarantee them survival this year and he wants to get even closer tomorrow.
He said: “Before the Luton game, I put it to the players ‘can you do back-to-back performances like Grimsby?’ and they proved to me that they could.
“So now it’s ‘can you do three back-to-back performances like that?’ “We beat Grimsby with a clean sheet, we beat Luton with a clean sheet and I’m just delighted because the players have had to work their socks off to do that.
“I won’t know how much it has taken out of them until the weekend, but the last two games have been fantastic.
“They’ve wanted it more than the other sides, which is terrific to see.
“There has been a lot of hard work done over the last four or five weeks.
“However, we now have to make sure we do it again against Gateshead.
“That’s the aim and we have to strive for a bit more consistency.
“It has been a bit up and down so far this season and to have two back-to-back performances like we’ve seen is fantastic for me as a manager and it has to be fantastic for them because it will give them a lot of confidence until the end of the season.”
Devonshire said he had no fresh injury concerns after the Luton game and added that Luke Daley’s substitution in the first half on Tuesday was a tactical move because of Matt Paine’s red card rather than due to an injury.
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