Saturday afternoon’s away game at Stevenage was a committed encounter, played out in the right spirit, and it was confirmed by gaffer Keith Millen afterwards that there are no fresh injury concerns, despite a few hefty challenges being exchanged.
“Brennan [Dickenson] has a black eye and there are a few tired legs, but you don’t tend to feel your knocks as much when you win,” he said.
“I think Jon [Mellish] just had a bit of cramp, he was tired, and I was protecting Corey Whelan. He had a bit of ankle worry from training, but he felt fine for the trip.
“I felt Stevenage were starting to outnumber us in the box too much, when they were putting balls in, so I wanted him on there.
“I didn’t want to go to a back five because when you go two goals up there’s a part of you that thinks you should drop off and defend, but I always feel that’s false security.
“I’d rather try to keep pressure on the ball. I didn’t want to make the change too early, but Corey should be fine, he’s got a week now to look after himself.”
And on captain Callum Guy, who was taken off as a precaution when he felt a groin niggle on Tuesday night, he commented: “I was pleased we brought him off at Mansfield, I wasn’t pleased we lost the game, but I’m glad we looked after him.
“If we hadn’t he could have done some more damage and been out for weeks. So that was the right thing to do and, again, he played that captain’s part. He’s not a great shouter, he isn’t one of those captains, but he leads by example in the way he plays.
“Alongside Danny Devine they brought a structure that meant Stevenage never really cut through us. I don’t mind the ball going wide and sometimes a cross comes in, you know you have to defend them, but I don’t like us being opened up through the middle.
“We’ve been good at stopping that for a while now, to be fair, and our structure without the ball was solid again. Our second goal comes from mobility and talent from Jordan Gibson, and he was brave enough to wait forever to take the penalty, and still score from it.
“As a team we played well and we showed a real competitive spirit. It wasn’t the most pleasing game to the eye, I wouldn’t say. We didn’t pass the ball as well as I’d like us to. But I did feel when we got the ball wide, we looked like something could happen.
“We’ve worked on getting more players in the box, that was one of the things we spoke about when we asked the players what can we improve. On Thursday from one of the meetings we looked at what we can do to try and create more goals.
“One of the things was more crosses, more players in the box, and there was two or three times in the first half we were close, but they defended well. It’s that desire.
“I could see people running in there, sliding in to try and get on the end of it. That’s a massive part of it.”
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