TOWN boss Neil Aspin hailed his side’s attitude as they warmed up for next Sunday’s FA Cup clash against Charlton at the Shay with victory at Gloucester City.
The players could have been forgiven for wanting to save themselves for the televised clash with the League One leaders in six days time.
But there was little evidence that they were holding back as they won 3-1 at Whaddon Road.
“I was a really good win,” said Aspin, whose side are now up to 10th in the Blue Square bet table.
“You say the right things but everyone’s minds are obviously on next weekend’s game.
“People want to play in that game so you are worried that they might take their eye off the ball.
“In reality, Saturday’s game was more important than next week’s because we are not going to win the FA Cup.
“The Charlton game will take care of itself and with us not having a game in the league next week it was important that we took three points to keep in touch with the play off positions
“Our form in the league in recent weeks had been good.
“I thought we were good at Droylsden and had a difficult game against Hyde that we got through.
“We have picked up points.”
James Dean was the goal hero, bagging a couple in his last match before he starts a six-game suspension.
And the one regret Aspin had was that the big frontman would not be available for the game with the Addicks.
“It’s really unfortunate for James Dean,” he said. “He has come back strongly in the games he has played since he came back from his first ban.
“Now, just as he is getting into the swing of things, he has a long suspension.
“All he could do was get the goals and I was pleased or him.”
Aspin handed a debut to Jamie Rainford, signed from Chester on Friday evening.
The 23-year-old is available to face Charlton because his recently re-formed parent club were not in this season’s competition.
“It was the biggest factor in bringing a player in,” said Aspin. “On Saturday we had options on the bench when it was 1-1.
“If we hadn’t have brought Jamie in, along with the fact that James Marwood is unavailable next week, we would have been a bit short.
“It was difficult for Jamie because we only signed him five minutes before the deadline and he didn’t know any of the players.
“But I felt it was important for him to get some game time and get to know the players if he is going to be used next week.”
Aspin revealed that he had worked hard to bring in players up to the Cup deadline, but had met with limited success.
“I spoke to loads of League clubs last week trying to get a player of any calibre and it was virtually impossible,” he said.
“Then you try clubs who you are just happy if they call you back.
“It is not easy.
“Players from the Conference are cup tied and because Chester are not in the cup I knew they would have players.”
One player absent from Whaddon Road was Lee Gregory who is having intensive treatment in a bid to face Charlton next weekend.
“We did not take Lee with us on Saturday because we are trying desperately to get him fit,” added the manager.
Aspin said that Brett Renshaw, brought in on loan to stabilise the Town defence a month ago when they were struggling, has returned to Hyde FC.
“Brett Renshaw would have been available on Saturday but I felt putting him on the bench in front of on of our own players wouldn’t have been fair,” he said.
Npower League One leaders Charlton romped to a 5-2 victory over Preston at The Valley.
Jonnie Jackson (16 & 26 pen) netted twice, with Michael Morrison (22) and in-form Bradley Wright-Phillips (39) also on target as the Addicks coasted into a 4-0 half-time lead, with Danny Hollands (68) heaping more misery on the visitors.
North End eventually left with two late consolation goals through Craig Morgan (85) and Keammar Daley (90).