KEEPING players’ grounded will be crucial in maintaining Sherborne Town’s bid for promotion according to manager Jamie Manley.
The Toolstation Western League Division One side welcome Almondsbury UWE to Raleigh Grove on Saturday having played top two Hengrove Athletic and Shepton Mallet in their last two games.
Town travelled to Somerset on Tuesday to lock horns with Mallet just three days after surrendering the lead to draw 1-1 at Hengrove.
Manley admitted that his seventh-placed team were amongst a group still capable of mounting a promotion push but having played six games fewer than some of their rivals he was not over-excited.
Identifying the meeting with Almondsbury as one they should be winning, Manley said: “There are five or six teams at the top - us included - that are in with a shout of promotion this year.
“It’s not about the games now, it will go down to the final games of the season and it’s about holding you nerve.
“We had a great win last mid-week against Portishead and the lads straight after were on their phones, looking at the league table, looking at who we have got coming up next, thinking we should get points here and there.
“But I have said to take it one game at a time. It’s hard because the lads know they have got the potential to win a lot of games but we have got to keep their feet on the ground over the coming games.
“We need to be picking up points against the teams at the top and beating those below us. We try to set up the same for every game, warm up the same and keep everything just how we want it so the lads are happy.
“We know what we have got to do in matches and our preparation means it doesn’t matter if we are playing top of the league or bottom of the league. Hopefully it will leave us in a good position, but there’s a long way to go yet.”
Having had to make changes to face Hengrove, Manley said he would have to do similar to keep the squad on its toes as the season continues. He said: “All in all Saturday was a good point for us and it suited us better than them at the end of the day.
“Three points would have been nice but to come away with a point was good as well.
“We had a couple missing, with Aaron Mead and Tony Cunningham available, who have both been starting for us.
“It is good to know that we have got the strength in depth with lads to call on to do a job. With the games coming up I am going to have to freshen the squad to keep everyone as fresh as possible. It’s still all to play for.”
Sherborne Town Reserves were held to a goal-less draw by Weymouth Reserves in the Magna Dorset Premier League.