Rainworth MW will take advantage of a blank Saturday this weekend to pull in a much needed training session.
Training has been a rare luxury for the Evo-Stik NPL Division One South club since the change in management and the influx of new players in September because of a glut of midweek fixtures, and co-manager Ian Robinson, along with his initial partner Gary Sucharewycz and now John Knapper, have not had much chance to work on training ground routines or gelling the still new squad together.
So a free Saturday will give them the chance to prepare for next Tuesday’s very difficult visit to promotion chasing Mickleover Sports, who have a 100 per cent home record in the league.
The Wrens have, at least, avoided having to go into that game on the back of a winless run following Tuesday night’s important 4-2 victory over fellow strugglers Brigg Town, in what even at this stage of the season was something of a six-pointer.
The win was only Rainworth’s second on home soil, completing an early league double over the Zebras and ending an eight match winless run in all competitions, six of which were straight defeats, after something of a honeymoon period for the new management had lifted them into mid-table.
But it was nerve-frazzling stuff for the long-suffering home supporters until a three-goal burst in the final 10 minutes overturned a 2-1 deficit and opened up a four point gap over their next-to-bottom opponents.
In truth, Rainworth played much better at Lincoln United on Saturday despite a 2-1 defeat, but as Robinson pointed out after Tuesday’s win: “That’s football. We played far better at Lincoln without a doubt, but sometimes you don’t play as well and pick up points, other times you play well and don’t get what you deserve.”
Reflecting on the match, Robinson continued: “We looked good and solid, and created plenty of chances in the first 20 minutes, but they scored with their first attack when a 20-yard shot skidded into the bottom corner. We got back on terms and then another defensive error gifted them a second goal.
“Our response was to put them under a lot of pressure, we played the ball into some great areas but in an open game we allowed them a few chances too, and there were always goals in the game for us - it was a matter of trying to take the options we were given and restricting theirs.
“I’m not going to say it was our best performance by any means. A few players were off their game a bit, but collectively we put in our all and got what we deserved.
“That hasn’t always been the case this season, but things have a habit of evening themselves up and it’s up to us to make sure we play with the same endeavour, commitment and work rate week in, week out.”
With one or two injuries plus a couple of suspensions due to kick in at Mickleover, Robinson is hoping to strengthen his squad prior to that game.
He concluded: “We aren’t in a position to be able to carry a big squad but there is a possibility of one or two signings.
“John (Knapper) and I are working very hard behind the scenes - I don’t think some people really understand how much work goes on in the background in non-League management - but we’ll be working to bring a couple of players in.
“Either way, the chance to train on Saturday will enable us to get the lads prepared for a tough task, and set them about getting a result.”
Supporters should note that Mickleover are at home to Kettering Town in the FA Trophy on Saturday, and if that ends in a draw the replay will take precedence over Rainworth’s visit to the Raygar Stadium.