Salford City visit Colchester United on Saturday in the first fixture of December and the winter schedule.
It will have been two weeks for The Ammies since their last league outing, a 0-0 draw with Macclesfield Town at The Peninsula Stadium. One has to go back to Saturday 2nd November for the last league away match and the 2-1 win at Newport County.
November has seen Salford progress to the knockout stages of the Leasing.com Trophy, and a 3-0 win against Wolves U21s on Tuesday has put us into the last 16.
However manager Graham Alexander is looking forward to picking things back up in the league after month of interruptions.
“It has been a fragmented month with so many cup games and different opponents, venues, but I think it’s been quite good; it’s been good to see the majority of the squad playing over the last month, I think everyone has to be fair which is always interesting for me as a manager.
“You want to see your players out there, see how they’re taking their training into games, and it always gives them the opportunity to showcase what they can do so it’s been really good the last month, but we know how important the league is.
“We’re going to Colchester who are a very good team, a tough venue to go to, but it’s one we’re looking forward to.
“It’ll be a football game, they pass the ball very well, and we’re going to go and try and put them off their stride and play our own stuff.
“I think the performance on Tuesday will give us great confidence going into the game on Saturday; we can see the quality in our squad, our team, we can pass the ball, score goals, we’ve just got to produce it on a more consistent basis so that’s the target for us all.”
The U’s themselves are enjoying cup success and in a couple of weeks’ time travel to Manchester United in the Carabao Cup quarter-final, having knocked Crystal Palace and Tottenham Hotspur out already.
That hasn’t been detrimental to their league form, and John McGreal’s side are currently 10th with a decent looking four-match unbeaten league run.
Meanwhile The Ammies have three wins from their last five on the road in the league, and only Forest Green Rovers (18) and Swindon Town (16) have scored more goals away from home than Salford.
Saturday’s game kicks off a run of nine games in five weeks for The Ammies as the infamous ‘winter period’ takes hold.
Following the visit to The JobServe Community Stadium, Salford host Exeter City and travel to Bradford City before Christmas. The visit of Crewe Alexandra on Boxing Day is followed by away games at Oldham Athletic and Grimsby Town to see out 2019 and welcome 2020. Walsall visit in the New Year, followed by Northampton Town with the Leasing.com Third Round between.
Despite the schedule The Gaffer says that focus will remain on the next game as ever for the players, and that the challenges as staff have been thought through.
“As for the games, and actually preparing for the games, we just do the same thing, we only take the next game into consideration.
“We don’t want to overload the players with information about teams who we haven’t got directly next, but as staff we look at the logistical side of it, what we have to do off the pitch as in our training plan, our travelling plans and stuff like that because once you get around Christmas, companies are on holiday, other people are on holiday but we’re not so we have to make sure it’s planned well in advance to make sure it’s right.
“But as for the football side everything continues the same; we train on the days we should do, we only concentrate on the direct game in front of us and that won’t change, we don’t see any reason to do that.
“People talk about the Christmas period, the Easter period, stuff like that… you have to win games all year through from game one.
“If you want to be successful, if you want to be where you want to be, you have to win games in all months so it doesn’t define anything but it’s just another series of games we have to try and win.”
For those unable to make it to Essex, follow the match via our live match day service. Supporters inside the UK, Republic of Ireland and Channel Islands can listen to commentary from £2.50, while those outside those territories can watch the game from £5.
Information for supporters travelling to Colchester can be read here.