DANNY GRAINGER: We’re desperate go through

Reds first-team manager Danny Grainger says his side will be ‘desperate’ to win on their return to action at Nantwich Town tomorrow.

The Buildbase FA Trophy tie is currently our only scheduled fixture for the foreseeable future, following this week’s news that the Northern Premier League won’t be restarting immediately.

Victory at The Optimum Pay Stadium tomorrow evening would mean that Reds are able to play a Second Round Proper tie next week, which would be a plus for a plethora of reasons.

Grainger’s squad recently reconvened post-lockdown for training and the manager discussed what the mid-season break was like for his team.

“It’s been strange,” he admitted.

“We’ve been trying to keep the lads in shape; giving them challenges that they can do at home, record and send us because we knew once lockdown ended, there’d be a big chance of us going straight back into games.”

Grainger continued: “We needed to keep them as fit as possible, whereas in summer, it was more just a case of ticking them over to be ready for a pre-season.

“We know we’ve got to hit the ground running but we’ve done plenty with them and had two good sessions before Nantwich.”

The match in Cheshire will be our first outing since Halloween, which was a win in the final Qualifying Round at Glossop North End.

Tomorrow, Reds will face more higher-ranked Premier Division opposition in the form of The Dabbers, which the boss is relishing.

“When you look at game itself, it’s a big game no matter what. It’s the First Round of the FA Trophy and we want to be successful,” explained Grainger.

“The added incentive is that if you win, you can carry on playing competitive games so the lads will be desperate for a result, as we all are.”

“Hopefully, we can get through and maybe even draw a home game!”

Prior to the second nationwide lockdown, our squad was looking thinner by the match thanks to injuries and to compound it, striker Scott Allison suffered a dislocated shoulder in training days before the season was suspended.

However, with a much more healthy squad after a month off, Grainger gave us some good news ahead of the trip.

“Things are looking alright at the moment, Reuben’s had a little bit of a reaction on his ankle which I think might be the case for quite a while.”

“It’s just going to be a case of going through the pain barrier at times.”

“Scotty’s making great progress,” the gaffer said.

“I think in a few weeks, we’ll be looking at trying to integrate him back into training and – fingers crossed – he’ll be able to get back into the squad.”

A virtual half-time raffle draw is being done during the game, which you can enter here.

Kick-off tomorrow is at 19:45, we hope to see you safely there.

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