Grit on the road is key to picking up points

Banbury United's Giorgio Rasulo closes down Barwell's Elliot Percival during Monday's success. Photo: Steve Prouse
Banbury United's Giorgio Rasulo closes down Barwell's Elliot Percival during Monday's success. Photo: Steve Prouse

Forget the home comforts – now it’s time to get to work on the road.

That will be manager Mike Ford’s message to his Banbury United players ahead of back-to-back BetVictor Southern League outings.

The Puritans head to new boys Bromsgrove Sporting for Saturday’s Premier Central clash before making the trip to Peterborough Sports three days later.

Ford said: “I’m sure both teams will be near the top at the end of the season so I see them as tough tests. Bromsgrove will still be on a high from coming up so we will have to set up differently but we’re in good form and we want to make it a difficult afternoon for them too.’’

Ford has lost Amer Awadh with a hamstring injury but Pablo Haysham is nearing full fitness, although he will not be rushed back into action.

Ford said: “I don’t want to rush Pablo Haysham back, I need to be convinced he’s done enough in training to warrant a place in the squad. I know he’s desperate to make his debut for the club and I want to get him out there but I’ve got to balance that up with making sure he’s not coming back too early and picking up another injury.”

The Puritans will entertain Gainsborough Trinity in next month’s Emirates FA Cup first qualifying round tie. The BetVictor Northern Premier League outfit currently sit mid-table.

Ford said: “My initial thought was ‘what a long trip’ then I found out we were at home and thought ‘that’s a long way to go for a replay on a Tuesday night’ so we’d like to get through at the first attempt.

“They’re at the same level as us, both teams will feel it’s an unknown quantity.”