FC Halifax Town boss Neil Aspin has warned his side must be up to the challenge when they face Braintree in a Vanarama Conference clash at the Shay tomorrow.
The two sides drew 0-0 in Essex earlier in the season, and while Braintree occupy a place in the lower half of the table Town have once again fired themselves to within touching distance of the play-off places.
However, the gap between the teams means nothing to Aspin who is hoping the weather gods smile on the Shay with their re-arranged game with Eastleigh following on Tuesday night
“People coming to the game should not underestimate Braintree,” warned Aspin. “I have alot of respect for the players and the manager there. He has them well-organised and difficult to play against.
“I think they were particularly unlucky not to get into the play-offs last season when they were hampered by a fixture backlog.
“It certainly won’t be easy and nobody should expect an easy win.”
The game comes at the head of another busy week. As well as the Eastleigh game the Shaymen face the long trip to take on fellow play-off hopefuls Kidderminster Harriers next Saturday.
“It is certainly going to be busy between now and the end of the season,” added Aspin. “We knew they had these games to fit in and we just have to make sure we can cope with it.”
The problem of playing three games a week heading towards the end of the season has been eased after Aspin strengthened his squad recently. However, he knows he needs all his players to be at peak performance to be fully effective.
“At the moment we have players who are not fully match fit,” added Aspin. “It is always the same when you bring players in - players are operating at different levels.
“But at least we are covered in all positions now. We are certainly better off than the Telford game when we were threadbare.
“With games coming thick and fast we need players to be pushing each other. It is alright having the strength in depth, but it is all about performance.
“If players don’t perform then they don’t get picked so we need everybody to be fit and ready for the challenge.”
Aspin reported a clean bill of health following last weekend’s 3-2 home win over Dover with only Steve Williams absent after pulling a hamstring during the 1-0 FA Trophy quarter final defeat by Wrexham.