Cox rallies his troops ahead of key matches

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EASTWOOD Town boss Paul Cox revelled in his side’s progress up to sixth place in the league this week - but warned of potentially their toughest fixtures of all over the next few days.

The Badgers are now 13 games unbeaten in all competitions and two more wins, against Telford and Droylsden, have left them just outside the play-off spots with games in hand.

But with a visit to already relegated Redditch next up on Saturday and league leaders Alfreton Town coming to Coronation Park on Tuesday, Cox is well aware there is still plenty of work to be done.

He said: “The lads just keep on producing and have been doing just what’s been asked of them. The mentality is right at the moment and the winning momentum is helping that.

“But we’ve got to keep it going and now face two very different challenges.

“I went to watch Redditch draw with Solihull on Tuesday and despite being bottom and relegated they’re a galvanised side in recent weeks, playing on a terrible pitch with some new players and no pressure. With me having seen those dangers and warned the players there will be no excuses for a poor performance.

“This could actually end up being our toughest game of the run-in because our preparation has to be perfect and the attitude right if we’re going to get a result.

“Against Alfreton it’ll need a different kind of resilience because they’re playing so well and we may have to defend a lot more, but the lads are fearing nobody at the moment and are well aware of our position in the league now.”

Performances

Cox hailed the Badgers’ performances against Telford and Droylsden, all the more impressive given they scored five goals in the two games without reply.

He said: “We were awesome against Telford and a threat from the very first minute. We played some great football and comfortably beat one of the best sides in the division.

“Droylsden are also a great footballing side and although they came at us more in the second-half, we forced their keeper into four or five brilliant saves and hit the woodwork twice so could easily have won by more.”

Reward

Cox and midfielder Lee Stevenson were presented with their respective Manager and Player of the Month awards before the Droylsden game following an outstanding spell in March, though the Eastwood boss was quick to pay credit to the whole squad.

He said: “It’s nice to be rewarded and great to see Lee get the plaudits too, but to be honest any one of our our players could have won the monthly award because they’ve all been absolutely outstanding.

“I honestly feared that with the amount of games we’ve had to play I’d start to see signs of both physical and mental tiredness in the players but to their immense credit they actually seem to be getting stronger and stronger.

“They’re playing much more as a unit than earlier in the season and are doing the simple things so much better, as has been made evident by the threat we are now from set pieces and some of the football we’re playing.

“We’re all enjoying the thrill of the chase in terms of a play-off spot and it’ll to be a really fascinating and exciting end to the season.”