RUGBY TOWN: Two home games this week
Sheffield on Saturday and Wolves in the cup on Tuesday
Rugby Town return to action on Saturday after an 11-day break looking to build on their back-to-back victories over Newcastle and Leek.
Sheffield FC are the visitors to Butlin Road for a fifth successive Evostik NPL South Division home fixture, with Valley boss Gary Moran keen to ensure that the recent double success over two in-form sides marks the start of a resurgence for the team.
He said: “I have always remained confident that we had the ability within this squad to play like we did in the two recent games and that it was only a matter of time before things clicked.”
The Newcastle victory ended a run of 12 games without one in the league, but Town still remain bottom of the table on 12 points – two adrift of Loughborough and Carlton, with the latter club lifting themselves up into 20th after two draws against Northwich and Stamford over the past week.
Moran continued: “It’s important that it’s not a case of win a couple and then lose two or three after that, so we will be drilling into the players the need to be consistent and approach this weekend’s game the same way we did previously.
“We have also spoken at length to them about the need to make Butlin Road a difficult place to come to, and I think we finally saw that in those last two games.”
Rugby’s manager also picked out the individual contributions of two of his players in the victories: “I thought Joe Halsall put in two real captain-type performances and Aaron Moses-Garvey showed what a threat he can be against Newcastle before following it up with the other side of his game with a workmanlike contribution against Leek.”
Moran has added left-back Lewis Hudson to his squad this week to compensate for the departures of Aaron Stringfellow (travelling) and Craig Kelly (retired), whilst Kyle Rowley has returned to Hednesford and Emmitt Delfouneso has also left the club.
The extended break should have given the likes of Aiden Print (ankle) and David Kolodynski (hamstring) the extra time needed for their injuries to recover, and Moran was hoping to have a full quota at his disposal to select from for the game against the World’s oldest independent football club.
Sheffield have recovered well from a poor start to the campaign and are currently in the 10th position in the table.
The two sides met in the reverse fixture back in September, and the hosts ran out 4-2 winners after Valley let slip a two-goal lead in James Jepson’s last league game in charge at the club.
Moran concluded: “I am confident that if we can play to our potential there’s another three points there for us on Saturday.
“I have always believed that this group of players were capable of turning things around, and they responded well to our call to strip things back to the basics in the two games we won.”
# Rugby are scheduled to have another home fixture next Tuesday (6th), when a Wolverhampton Wanderers side visit Butlin Road in the second round of the Birmingham Senior Cup.
# The club are once more supporting the Hope4 local charity annual appeal for the homeless and badly-housed people in Rugby.
After the success of last year’s collection, Valley volunteer Tony Mann has called on supporters to reach even greater heights this time round.
He explained: “We collected a fantastic amount of food in 2015, but I would like to try and double the amount this year.
“Hopefully supporters can bring one item to each of the games we have between now and the New Year.
“Any type of tinned food is ok, as are toiletries or items of underwear in good condition.”