Gloucester City manager Tim Harris says that the next two months of the season will be crucial in determine where his side will be come the end of the season.
The Tigers currently sit in 13th in the National League South, five points from the play-offs and six points above the relegation places.
Harris knows that his side haven’t been playing up to their standards and is keen to see some players step up in the coming weeks.
“I don’t think we’ve performed anywhere near the level we can” said Harris. “Look at last year, we know what these lads can do because they’ve already done it.
“As things stand though, we generally haven’t played as well as that level from last season, which is down to a number of factors.
“I’m not going to make excuses, I take some responsibility of that myself and we need to look at the positives.
“In the next few weeks, I’m definitely looking for a few players to step up because come December I think where we are will be a good barometer for how we’ll do this year.”
City welcome Braintree Town to the Jubilee Stadium this weekend (15:00 kick-off) after having a week off from action last weekend, something that Harris feels has benefitted the squad.
“We’ve had a good break” said Harris. “We took last weekend off, trained well on Tuesday before we took the lads for ‘hot yoga’ on Thursday evening.
“The boys are in very good spirits and feel refreshed but we know it’ll be a tough game as they all are. Braintree are a big strong side, very committed and we’ll have to be at our best.”
New loan signing Jack Storer will be available for selection on Saturday, and Harris was keen to sing his praises.
“Jack is the kind of striker we’ve been looking to sign for quite some time, I’m very excited to see what he can do.
“I’ve had him watched a lot and I’ve known about his talent for a while so to have him on board at this moment in time where we are struggling to test goalkeepers is a real boost.
“In terms of Ethan Moore, I very much see him being a Gloucester City player for some time, he has put in a whole lot of effort at Evesham and has shown great improvement.”
The Tigers will be boosted by the return of Chris Knowles to the squad, but Spencer Hamilton will miss out again and is likely to miss another week or two.