New AFC Telford United midfielder Ian Craney believes he will be ‘firing on all cylinders’ for the visit of Hyde United.
The former Rochdale man made a promising debut for his new club at league leaders Grimsby Town on Saturday.
It was Craney’s first taste of first-team football since his release from Spotland last month and the 30-year-old admitted he was not quite at his best.
But he is adamant his 90-minute run-out will have helped shake off any rust and he will be able to take his performance up a gear for Telford’s crucial run of back-to-back home games, starting tonight.
“I was a bit sluggish on Saturday because I haven’t played for a good while but I will be better for it,” said Craney.
“Fingers crossed, tonight and this Saturday I will be firing on all cylinders.
“I am glad I got into the areas where I can score goals. It’s now up to me to get the sharpness in my game more than anything to finish those chances. But I’ve got 90 minutes under my belt that will benefit me.”
Craney, a veteran of more than 300 games, is keen to make the most of his chance at the New Bucks Head, having arrived last week on a short-term deal which runs until the end of the season.
The Liverpudlian has endured a tough time, breaking his leg twice last year which almost led him to call time on his career.
And having got back to fitness he suffered further frustration after joining League Two Rochdale at the start of last season, making just nine appearances.
But having left the club last month, he is now aiming to recapture his best form for Telford.
He said: “Breaking my leg twice in the same season was a really hard thing to take and it is a good job I had good people around me because I was close to calling it a day and retiring.
“But I got myself fit, went to Rochdale and was probably unlucky not to play more games for them because I was training hard and putting the sessions in.
“It just never really worked out and when (manager) John Coleman moved on it was time for me to move on too.
“I’m looking forward now and I know if I am fit in this league I can be a weapon.”
Telford will need that ammunition tonight against fellow strugglers Hyde, a game which will be followed at the weekend by the arrival of Staffordshire neighbours Tamworth.
Both of those opponents remain within touching distance of the Blue Square Bet Premier League relegation zone and Telford would certainly boost their survival hopes if they could take the lion’s share of the points from these games.
Mark Cooper’s side kick-off tonight fourth from bottom of the table, two points from safety and having failed to win any of their last 18 league games.
But Craney believes the Bucks’ new-look side, which was bolstered by three further new signings last week, has enough quality to kick-start a desperately-needed revival.
“If we had got something from the Grimsby game it would have been a bonus but we are looking at Hyde and Tamworth to get two wins and, fingers crossed, we will do just that.
“The main thing we need is a bit of belief and confidence in each other to put the ball in right areas and believe that we are going to score.
“If we all have faith we are going to score and get in the position to score, sooner or later the goals will come.”