Darlington v Telford - Match preview
AFC Telford United have grown in confidence since the last time they took on Darlington – according to boss Kevin Wilkin.
The Bucks travel to County Durham on Saturday in desperate need of a win to boost their position in the National League North, and when they faced them in the reverse fixture in Shropshire at the start of November, they came out on the wrong side of the result – losing 4-1.
But since then, there has been an upturn in form for the Bucks, only losing one of their last seven league matches, and Wilkin is hoping a side that has grown in confidence over the last month can give a better account of themselves than last time the teams met.
He said: “We regrouped last night (at training), and we are looking forward to going to Darlington.
“It will not be easy – they are having a fantastic season, we have to be very respectful of that.
“In the home game we were poor overall and they were deserved winners on the night, so hopefully we can go there and give a better account of ourselves.
“The boys have grown in confidence, we have all grown in confidence, not getting carried away with it, as we know we need to start winning games.
“It is a tough game, they have plenty to play for as do we. If one to two come through the injuries they have had that will be great, equally if we can get one or two in that will bolster the ranks before Saturday, so there is plenty to look forward to.”
Luke Rowe and Lewis Salmon missed the Bucks’ clash at Chorley on Tuesday night, and according to Wilkin, Rowe is desperate to play at the weekend.
Salmon is in the hands of the medical staff at Nottingham Forest as he has been receiving treatment there for a swollen ankle.
Robbie Evans is still managing a calf problem despite getting through 85 minutes in midweek, and Josh O’Brien is a doubt for the weekend also. They have been boosted in forward areas with Montel Gibson returning from suspension and the arrival of Rackeem Reid from Leamington.
But the injury problems do seem to be mounting up for the boss, which is something he says is part of the game.
He said: “It is one of those things you do get injuries along the way and bumps and bruises. Unfortunately, Off the back of Saturday Luke and Lewis have both had to come out.
“Every team gets them and you have to get on with it and make the best of it. It was an opportunity for Nathan (Blissett) and Prince (Ekpolo) as well to get in there and both have done alright.
“It is important to continue to drive the level of performance forward, and the same with the people on the fringes of it to keep those in the starting XI up with their work.
“Again, what we are striving for is to make us more competitive in games for longer periods, there are signs of it and we could have quite easily got something at the end of the game on Tuesday.”