Ford knows there will be an added bit of spice to derby

Manager Mike Ford admits there will be an added bit of spice to Thursday's derby with Stratford Town.

Tuesday, 24th December 2019, 7:30 am
Banbury United boss Mike Ford

For only the third time in the club’s history, a Banbury United manager will return to take on his former club.

The Puritans entertain Stratford Town in the Boxing Day derby which pits Ford against Paul Davis, who he replaced as manager in 2015.

Following the manner of his departure, Davis will be keen to prove a point on his return to the Banbury Plant Hire Community Stadium. But Ford says his side have to stick to their game plan.

The Puritans have slipped down to fifth in the BetVictor Southern League while Stratford are struggling at the other end of the table.

He said: “I’m sure Stratford will make it as difficult as they can for us, they’ve always been tough games against them during my team here. They’ve all been close games except for one which we won comfortably after they had their keeper sent off early on.

“I won’t expect anything any different on Boxing Day and I’m sure their manager will have this fixture down as one he’d love to win for obvious reasons. For us, it’s a derby fixture but we have to treat it as any other game, continue to work hard, try and play good football.

“My focus is on picking the right line-up, we’ve got lots of pace in the squad and I have to decide whether to play them all at the same time.

“There are no easy fixtures in this division and Thursday’s game will be difficult, both teams need three points for different reasons, hopefully we can get across the line.”

Kynan Isaac is suspended and Claudio Dias remains a doubt.