Ford must pick players up after
the setback

Banbury United manager Mike Ford must pick his players up for Saturday's clash with Cambridge City

Banbury United manager Mike Ford must pick his players up for Saturday's clash with Cambridge City

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Banbury United boss Mike Ford will be hoping his players can recharge their batteries ahead of Saturday’s clash with in-form Cambridge City.

The Puritans manager admitted his players looked jaded in Tuesday’s solitary goal Evo-Stik Southern League defeat by Basingstoke Town at the Banbury Plant Hire Community Stadium.

I just have to remind the players of how well they’ve done so far and get them feeling happy about themselves again

Puritans boss Mike Ford

That was United’s second successive 1-0 defeat following Saturday’s reverse at Merthyr Town where James Smith missed a late penalty which would have earned the Puritans a point. And that would also have taken United’s unbeaten run into double figures.

Now the Puritans have to get back on track against Cambridge and that will be no easy task.

Ford said: “Cambridge have just been and beaten Chesham and Weymouth. We couldn’t beat Weymouth so if we wanted a hard game on Saturday, we’ve got one against Cambridge.

“When you have gone nine games without losing, it always seems to raise doubts about your team. But we have to be sensible about defeats.

“Perhaps missing out on a late point at Merthyr from the penalty spot was still on the players’ minds on Tuesday. They were as flat as a pancake.

“But we’ve only lost ten games, we’re going to be in this division next season. I just have to remind the players of how well they’ve done so far and get them feeling happy about themselves again.”

Ford hinted there would be changes for Saturday’s game and Ricky Johnson could be in contention if he comes through his first training session tonight (Thursday) since he was injured.

Ford added: “The back five has been unchanged for a long time and some of those players may need to come out of it. I’ve got Ricky Johnson back and Tom Bradbury in the squad so I’ve got some big decisions to make for Saturday.”