County clash just perfect for Telford
Upbeat manager Gavin Cowan believes AFC Telford have the perfect fixture on which to end a tough week.
Cowan has seen his side drop points in their quest for a National North play-off place with defeat at Brackley Town and a draw at home to struggling Guiseley.
A trip to second-placed Stockport County would seem a tough clash for the Bucks to return to winning ways.
But the New Bucks Head chief insists playing former Football League opposition can bring the best out of his players.
“I couldn’t be any more excited,” insisted Cowan. “It’s one as soon as the fixture list comes out you look for it don’t you?
“I can’t wait to go there and pit our wits against them on a brilliant pitch in a brilliant environment and you know the lads will be up for it.
“I’ve thrown down the gauntlet to them and said the challenge is you’ve got to drive it yourselves, you’ve got to drive the team forward and make sure you’re ready.
“They’re a very good team so we are going to have to address different different challenges, so there will be a different challenge.”
The last two results have dampened some of the feel-good factor that was sweeping the Bucks following their FA Trophy success at Spennymoor that secured a quarter-final tie against Solihull Moors.
But they still remain fourth in the table, three points ahead of eighth-placed Boston who sit just outside the play-off positions.
Cowan admits his side haven’t fired on all cylinders in the last two games but believes struggling sides like Guiseley can prove equally as tough as the like of Stockport.
“We won’t be the only team up there who have points taken off them by teams lower down,” he added.
“It’s almost because they’ve got nothing to lose and got to fight and scrap and give it everything and that’s what they do.
“I don’t think the performance was a poor one, I think we’re just disappointed because we didn’t get the win. It’s couple of games that we wanted to get more out of but ultimately it was another point on the board.
“You’ve got to recognise what didn’t quite go right on Tuesday and that was that was just a recognition of when to stretch the opposition and when to shorten our game up.
“Ultimately that’s where we failed second half because we got drawn into playing a long game like they did and it became a battle, which is not what I wanted to do.
“We’ll just take it day by day and see who the freshest is and, tactically, what will be the right team to beat Stockport.
“Competition for places is huge. I think it’s a massive thing for us. I think we’re in a good place with our squad. We’ve just got to get them mentally right, making sure they are always on board and carrying out the right things.
“At the moment we’ve gone a little bit off script but I just want them to stick to the plan.
“On Tuesday I think we’ve we’ve completely dominated the first half and then been dragged into a battle second half, which is disappointing.
“But, ultimately, you know all of the lads are going to have their contribution and going to play their part.”