Gray warns against complacency

First published in Sport Darlington and Stockton Times: Photograph of the Author by , Deputy Sports Editor

Martin Gray has warned his top of the table Darlington team to avoid complacency as they head into this morning's game at strugglers Norton & Stockton Ancients.

Shock defeats at Team Northumbria and Newton Aycliffe recently provided painful reminders that each of Quakers opposition in the Northern League are capable of raising their game.

Since those surprise losses, Darlington have returned to form with back-to-back impressive displays against Durham and Spennymoor Town, but Gray is taking no chances.

He arranged a training session on Monday for his players, explaining: "We've got to make sure we prepare ourselves right, that's why they were in on Christmas Eve for training. That's a bit different for them, I dont think they're used to training at this time of year.

"They were given a choice, training on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, and they chose Christmas Eve.

"After two great performances against Durham and Spennymoor, we're hoping to continue it at Norton, but we've got to prepare right and get their minds switched on.

"I know that at this time of year it's all about Christmas and families, but we've got a job to do.

"You've got to make sure that mentally you're switched on and that you do things right - do that and you give yourself the best chance of winning."

Norton are second-bottom having won only three of their 20 matches and have lost six successive matches, conceding 19 goals in the process.

"It's their cup final so they'll come out and have a real big effort, which is understandable," added Gray.

"We need to make sure that we start better than them and if we do that then Im confident that we can get a result."

Midfielder Craig Gott will play if he has shaken off an ankle knock sustained last Wednesday against Spennymoor.

If he's unable to start, Jonny Davis would replace him after signing last week from Hebburn.

Gray said: "He's similar to Craig Gott - he's calm on the ball and can pass it around. He came on for Craig and slotted in very nicely.

"It's important that we have good cover and we'll have to see how Craig is because he went over on his ankle.

"Craig's touch and go, probably in favour of him playing, but the squad's quite strong in terms of injuries.

"Steven Johnson is not a million miles and away Craig Turns is the same. He is progressing, so I'm hoping it's a case of sooner rather than later with him."

* Supporters are reminded that today's game kick-off at 11am.

Comments (2)

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9:00am Wed 26 Dec 12

Skallywagg says...

Is there a good reason for such a ridiculous kick off time?
Is there a good reason for such a ridiculous kick off time? Skallywagg
  • Score: 0

10:43am Wed 26 Dec 12

Darlo Mother says...

Normal kick off time in the NL on a Bank Holiday.
Normal kick off time in the NL on a Bank Holiday. Darlo Mother
  • Score: 0

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