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Extra days off, won't mean we are putting our feet up

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: November 27, 2012

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WITH a couple of extra days break before we play Hereford in front of the live TV cameras in the FA Cup second round, it was vital we got something out of our game against Barnet on Saturday.

To spend nine days stewing on a defeat and not playing in the League for a further five days would have been horrible.

We knew that our opponents, despite currently being bottom of the table, would be a difficult proposition.

Their recent results have been good which can be indicated by them going to Chesterfield and taking all three points.

We know what a difficult place Chesterfield is to go so we knew we had to be ready for a really tough game.

On the back of two defeats we were looking for a reaction but we were also aware that it is very difficult to go straight from playing poorly like we did at Chesterfield to performing at our best.

Barnet took some breaking-down but the atmosphere really got going when Scott Brown made a fantastic penalty stop at 0-0.

It was going to take another moment of genius to score at the other end and that is what we got when substitute Jeff Goulding curled one into the top corner.

The conditions were horrible on Saturday but Jeff's finish certainly brightened the day up.

We were able to present a new player to the supporters on Saturday as well.

With last Thursday being the deadline day to sign any loan players before the transfer window re-opens in January, we took the opportunity to re-sign Lawson D'Ath from Reading but we were also able to bring his Reading colleague Jake Taylor in as well.

Jake had a very successful loan spell with Exeter City in League One last season and has also captained the Welsh Under-21 side.

His pedigree is very good and I thought on Saturday he showed what a good player he is going to be for us.

He has a clever, creative style to his game and was unlucky not to score with a couple of efforts against Barnet.

He and Lawson will provide plenty of youthful energy and exuberance to the squad and it is great that we have managed to bring them both to the club.

The victory over Barnet means that we have the best home record in League Two.

We have won the last five home games on the spin now, including Yate in the cup and it would be great to extend that run to six when we entertain Hereford next Monday.

Everybody in the bottom couple of divisions in the League and below realises the importance of getting through a second round FA Cup tie and Hereford and us are no different .

Anything can happen in the third round draw, and the revenue can be unbelievable for clubs at our level.

We will be in the strange position of knowing who the victorious team will be playing as the draw would already have been made.

This of course may mean the incentive for both teams to get through may increase depending on who the winners have been paired up with.

All I can say is we will be expecting an electric atmosphere as both sets of fans will not want to lose out to one of their nearest and oldest rivals.

We are also going to use the opportunity of us not playing until next Monday to have a really good week on the training ground.

You would be surprised how few opportunities you actually get throughout the season to get a couple of good, physical days into the players.

Quite often the players are either recovering from their last game or preparing for the next.

Their base fitness is good from their pre-season program that they underwent.

Fitness coach Jason Murphy has prepared a couple of sessions where the players can work on their speed and endurance as we attempt to keep the lads as sharp as possible ahead of a busy period.

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