Double-header will test the strength of Wilkin's squad
Brackley Town boss Kevin Wilkin knows two games in three days could be pivotal to his side’s promotion hopes.
Saints travel to improving Kettering Town today (Thursday) and two days later entertain Kidderminster Harriers.
With six Vanarama national League North points up for grabs, Wilkins knows the importance of the two games.
He said: “Two games in three days is going to really test the squad. Kettering are scrapping for points but they’re in the best form they’ve been in all season, so we’re probably meeting them at the wrong time.
“We all know that the festive fixtures can throw up some strange results, we drew both games against Leamington last Christmas and we did more than enough to have won them, dropping those four points cost us in the end.”
Captain Gaz Dean may be a doubt for today’s game after limping off against Curzon Ashton late on but Kelvin Langmead is a ready-made replacement.
With Wes York side-lined, new signing Lorrel Smith was given his chance and Wilkin was delighted to see him make a good impact after stepping up two tiers.
He said: “It could have been seen as a bit of gamble to put Lorrel Smith straight in but we feel we’re in a reasonable place for him to get some experience. Lorrel has similar attributes to Wes York and that was one of the reasons we needed to see what he can do.
“Wes was doing great for us and he will be a big loss over the next few weeks but Lorrel showed in the first half what he can do, there were encouraging signs out there. It’s important for the fringe players to show what they can do when they get their chance.
“He’s going into a group which has been fairly consistent over the last three seasons and that isn’t easy but I’m keen to try and help develop him.”