Despite Alfreton having only won once away from home all season, Gloucester City boss Tim Harris insists that the Tigers will not take that for granted when the Reds visit Whaddon Road on Saturday, writes Charlie Biggs-Thomas.
Alfreton boast an excellent home record, having gone unbeaten at home in 12 games in all competitions, with their last defeat at the North Street coming thanks to the Tigers, who won 2-0 there in November.
“They have done really well at home recently” Harris said. “They’ve beaten Halifax, Boston, FC United, so their home form has been exceptional lately.”
However, their away form is something Harris said he’ll be keen to take advantage of as Alfreton have only won one game away from home all season.
“They have not been brilliant on their travels and hopefully we can take advantage of that” the Tigers boss told gloucestercityafc.com.
Despite their away form leaving much to be desired, Harris said The Tigers’ can’t take it for granted and only a stellar performance will do.
“There are no easy games at this level and we have to make sure we put in another sterling performance like we did last week [at Halifax], we need to maintain our standard and the hunger and if we do that then we should be fine.”
Craig Westcarr is Alfreton’s leading goalscorer this season and Harris said Westcarr and teammate Liam Hearn will be dangerous with the experience they have between them.
“Craig Westcarr and Leon Hearn have both got vast experience at this level and above, they’re always going to be a danger as they have that quality.”
However, Harris insisted if the Tigers stick to their game plan they will be fine.
“We just need to be on our game” Harris said. “We don’t need to worry about the opposition but we do need to be aware of them. They are a strong side and we need to earn the right to win the game.”
Harris was keen to give The Reds’ manager Russell O’Neil some praise for the job he has done since taking over from Nicky Law.
“Russell has done really well since Nicky left, they’re obviously on the up so we will take nothing for granted.
“Nicky has a fantastic job in Burnley now coaching the Under 23’s, but Russell has done very well sine Nicky’s departure.”
Harris was keen to reiterate just how competitive a game it will be for City at Whaddon Road on Saturday.
“I don’t think there is a game at this level that isn’t competitive; I think the table proves that.
“Whilst we have got to keep doing what we’re doing we aren’t going to take anyone for granted. We will need to put in a performance like we have recently to come out with a positive result.”
Harris said he expects Chris Knowles to be in the squad after missing the last three games, as will new loan signing Louis McGrory who joined up with the Tigers on a season-long loan from Forest Green on Thursday.
The gaffer added: “Ross Finnie has gone back to Wolves following the expiration of his loan and we thank him for his contribution. We aren’t expecting Tom Webb or Darren Mullings to be fit and Ethan Moore is still a long term absentee.”
The Tigers host Alfreton Town on Saturday 25 March, kick-off 15:00.