Salford City welcome Carlisle United for the first time on Saturday in Sky Bet League Two.
The Ammies haven’t beaten the Cumbrians in two previous meetings, but will feel confident going into the weekend.
Back-to-back wins against Cambridge Untied and Barrow have driven Salford up the League Two table into fourth, just five points off top with two games in hand.
It’s a tight table though, particularly in the top half with two other teams in the play-offs on 44 points, and Harrogate Town in 13th only eight points behind.
Having reached this position, defender Di’Shon Bernard says it’s time for Salford to maintain some consistency and stay ahead of the chasing pack. The 20-year-old scored his first Ammies goal in December’s 2-1 defeat at Brunton Park, and is optimistic about Salford’s current form.
“It’s been going good, the last two games at home we’ve won both and we’re on a bit of a run at the moment. We just need to keep that, keep getting three points and keep moving up the table because at the moment from first to ninth it’s so tight and we can’t really afford to slip up at the moment.
“The wins have both been needed, I think the confidence wasn’t really there, obviously we’ve had a few performances like against Harrogate, dropping points, Oldham dropping points, so it’s good to get back to winning ways and hopefully it can just carry on and we can keep gaining confidence with each game.
“I’ve definitely noticed in this league, it doesn’t matter what opposition you’re playing against whether they’re top of the table like Cambridge or near the bottom like Barrow, you can literally lose to any team if you’re not on it so we just need to keep ourselves focused, keep our energy levels up and go out every game like it’s our last.”
— Salford City FC (@SalfordCityFC) December 3, 2020
There are no fresh injury concerns for The Ammies. Tom Clarke remains out after a head injury sustained against Cambridge United, and Darron Gibson is still recovering from a leg injury at Port Vale in October.
The Cumbrians are in a bit of a false position in ninth, seven points behind leaders Cambridge with five games in hand. A combination of bad weather and a bout of Coronavirus has meant they have played only four games in 2021, having gone top of the league with a 2-0 win at Walsall on January 2nd.
A prolonged break hasn’t necessarily done Chris Beech’s side any favours either, and their two games in February – separated by two weeks – have both ended in defeat.
However there is a reason why Carlisle were where they were and they will be keen to buck the last two games by making it successive wins against Salford.
“We know now they’ve got a few good players, we know their threats, but obviously we’ve got a different side to what we put out the last time we played them.
“They beat us away so we definitely want to get one on them now and beat them at home, and obviously the run we’ve had at home this season has been really good.”
HOW TO WATCH
The online stream begins from 14:00 GMT with kick-off at 15:00. Season Ticket Holders can login and should have the stream ready, otherwise it’s available to purchase for £10 in the UK and £7 abroad.
Don’t forget to tune into Matchday LIVE from 14:30 on YouTube, Twitter or Facebook where Zarah Connolly will be discussing your predictions, and have the full interview with Di’Shon!