Salford City travel to Stevenage on Saturday looking for their first win of February, and off the back of Tuesday’s heartbreaking stoppage time defeat to Plymouth Argyle.
Despite dropping the points, there were positives to take out of the game including a debut brace for James Wilson who scored twice in his first eight minutes as a Salford player.
After going over a couple of the errors which cost The Ammies three points, manager Graham Alexander says his side will be focused on responding positively.
“We went over a couple of things we need to do better but it was a brief meeting then we started planning for Saturday.
“We don’t tend to dwell on things, negative or positive, I think there were loads of positives to take from the game, how well we played.
“The negative was the result and the manner of it where we let ourselves down in a couple of situations so that’s what we’ve quickly addressed this morning, then as we always do we look forward to the next game, the next game’s Stevenage and we’ve got to concentrate on that one.”
The reverse fixture was a poignant match for The Ammies as we celebrated our first EFL game with a 2-0 win at The Peninsula Stadium. Mani Dieseruvwe scored in each half as we took the three points, but a lot has changed since August on both sides.
“It was our first ever game in the Football League so a massive day for the history of our club and we were delighted to win the game but like you say there’ve been considerable changes, certainly on our side with our squad, obviously them with a different manager.
“It’s the thing I think I mentioned in my programme notes on Tuesday, the squad has evolved over the course of the last four or five months.
“Unfortunately you have to do this sort of work when you’re going through the levels but the players that have moved on, either on a permanent or a loan, have played massive parts but it is generally quite a new look squad from that first game when we played Stevenage.”
Meanwhile The Boro have changed their manager twice; in September Mark Sampson took over from Dino Maamria, then in December Graham Westley returned for a fourth spell in charge. They are currently on a run of six straight defeats but the Gaffer knows it’ll be a tough game for his side.
“All opponents are dangerous, I think any team you play in professional football is a dangerous opponent because they’re professional, they have organisation, their fitness levels, their tactics, they have analysis.
“All clubs and teams are very well prepared nowadays and it’s important we focus on what we can bring to the game regardless of who we play.
“I think you can see the quality we’ve shown in both of the last two games, we’ve proved that but not consistently enough in the course of the last six months.
“But now we feel that if we can settle this squad into a quick rhythm with the new players they can put a run of results together, but we can’t talk about a run without talking about the next game, and the next game for us is the most important one.
“We’ll be looking for us to take the many positives we had from the other night into the game, and any improvements we have to make we have to make them quickly.”
There are no fresh injury concerns so Salford are expected to have the same squad available to choose from. After James Wilson impressed with two goals off the bench on Tuesday night, the Gaffer admits that the squad are giving him selection decisions to make.
“We’ve worked so hard over the last few months to create that situation where we have more than 11 good players, which we certainly do, and there’s stiff competition and you can see that within.
“No one’s guaranteed a starting place, so it’s down to each individual to perform to his best abilities and make sure he contributes to the team, but the impact of the players that we’ve brought in since the window I think has had a real good effect on the squad, on the team, but it’s allied to the players we had here before as well, it’s not just about those new players who’ve come in.
“We’ve got some very good players from last season and even the season before so it’s about understanding their qualities and gelling those qualities together.”