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Gray satisfied with recent displays
Darlington need to start combining points with performances if they are to regain ground on the Evo-Stik First Division leaders.
Having gone top of the table with a 7-0 trouncing of Ossett Albion on October 2, they have not won in three league games since and have slipped to fifth, eight points adrift of leaders Warrington Town.
Wednesday's win in the Durham Challenge Cup was their first success in their last six fixtures in all competitions, a record they attempt to improve when they travel to Cammell Laird on Merseyside today.
Quakers are winless in their last three league games, but manager Martin Gray is not concerned about the dip in results and has taken solace in his team's performances.
Only a failure to take their chances cost them against Prescot Cables, it was a similar scenario when they lost 1-0 at Curzon Ashton while last Saturday's bore draw at Lancaster City came three days after Darlington were taken to extra-time by Buxton in the FA Trophy.
"We've got to keep doing things right and do our jobs right," said Gray, who includes new signing Nathan Fisher in the squad.
"We go into Saturday's game in good form and we've had some decent performances recently. Performances have been okay.
"I was disappointed to get knocked out of the Trophy last week, but other than that I've been happy with how things have been going.
"We went to Lancaster with some tired legs. I just thought something might've dropped for us the longer the game went on.
"The good thing is that the players are fully recharged as not everyone played on Wednesday night.
"They've had a week to recover and get ready for Saturday. The core of the team had a rest, players like Hunter, White, Scott, Edwards and Dowson, who've all put in big shifts lately, needed a rest.
"We had Cammell Laird watched on Tuesday, Harry Dunn was down at Salford and he says they're hardworking so it's important that we continue the level of performance that we had last weekend."
Although Darlington's FA Trophy replay ten days ago ended on a sour note - losing on penalties despite being 3-0 up at half-time - Gray was satisfied with the performance of his players over two games with Buxton, something that might have been lost in the immediate aftermath of such a disappointing evening.
"We did ever so well when you think that we didn't have a club 18 months ago," said Gray.
"We were playing against a team that are a league above us and over the two legs we were better than them and it's easy to forget that.
"So we've come a long way in a short space of time."
Seven days on from the Buxton defeat, a much-changed Darlington enjoyed a 3-1 win over Sunderland RCA, and although the first round of the Durham CC is not high among Quakers' priorities, Gray made only six changes.
That was in contrast to the preliminary round when Gray changed all 11 of his team, but he explained: "It was just a way of giving a game to players that have not played as much as others recently.
"Chris Moore missed the Buxton away game so he needed a bit more football time, simple as that.
"It was a good run-out and Nathan Thomas and Nathan Fisher both need games.
"The two Nathans have improved our squad. Thomas was very good on Wednesday night, as was Fisher, so they come into contention for Saturday. They've both given themselves a good chance."
David Dowson has been carrying an injury so he is a contender to make way for Fisher, and Amar Purewal remains sidelined with a groin injury.
While Darlington are the best supported club in the division, Cammell Laird have the fewest number of fans as they average only 55 for games at the Kirklands Stadium. Despite their low crowds, they finished second last season and missed out on promotion when they lost a penalty shoot-out in the play-off final.
The Birkenhead-based club are 15th, having not won any of their last four fixtures.