Dean urges players to enjoy themselves as Brackley close in on a play-off spot

Gareth Dean has urged his Brackley Town players to continue to enjoy themselves after they made a welcome return to winning ways last weekend.
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Goals from Glenn Walker, Alfie Bates and a first for the club from Theo Robinson earned the Saints a vital 3-0 success over Darlington as they ended a run of nine games without a win in the Vanarama National League North.

And it moved Brackley a step closer to securing a play-off place ahead of two more crucial games in the regular campaign.

The Saints head to Buxton on Saturday before hosting Alfreton Town on the final day.

Glenn Walker shows his delight after he opened the scoring in Brackley Town's 3-0 win over Darlington. Pictures by Glenn AlcockGlenn Walker shows his delight after he opened the scoring in Brackley Town's 3-0 win over Darlington. Pictures by Glenn Alcock
Glenn Walker shows his delight after he opened the scoring in Brackley Town's 3-0 win over Darlington. Pictures by Glenn Alcock

Both clubs are bidding for a top-seven finish themselves but interim boss Dean is hoping that much-needed victory over Darlington will inject some confidence into the squad.

“Obviously we want to secure a play-off place but we also want to finish as high up the table as we possibly can,” Dean said.

“My message to the boys is yes, it’s paramount we make the play-offs but we also have that burning desire to finish as high as we can, which is that fourth spot.

“We have tough games to come against two clubs who have their own ambitions to be in there as well. Buxton and Alfreton are in decent form and we will have to be at our best to get positive results in those games.

Brackley Town interim boss Gareth DeanBrackley Town interim boss Gareth Dean
Brackley Town interim boss Gareth Dean

“But if the boys play like they did at the weekend, they are a match for anyone and hopefully that breeds a bit of confidence.

“We need them to step up and embrace the challenge.

“They look like they are enjoying themselves. They have bigger stresses in life than football and this is their opportunity to go and do what they are good at. They certainly did that last weekend.”

Reflecting further on the win in front of nearly 800 fans at St James Park, Dean added: “I was absolutely delighted.

Danny Lewis makes a flying save during Brackley's victory over DarlingtonDanny Lewis makes a flying save during Brackley's victory over Darlington
Danny Lewis makes a flying save during Brackley's victory over Darlington

“We had a good week and the boys were just absolutely magnificent.

“They had the same hunger, desire and application and the fans are gagging for them to do well.

“I told them to give the fans something to get behind and they did that from minute one.

“I could sit here and pick people out individually but collectively they had the desire to keep a clean sheet and win battles.

“The clean sheet was massive and the goals were spread across the team. It was a great performance and something for us to build on.”