PAUL Moore has said Northwich Victoria head to AFC Rushden & Diamonds in a ‘good mood’ after collecting four points from their past two matches.
Vics followed a slender win against Carlton last weekend by coming from 2-0 down to draw with Gresley in midweek.
Those results have sent Loughborough to the bottom of the Northern Premier League Division One South standings, and closed a gap to Rugby above them.
However they head to the Dog and Duck this weekend conscious they were beaten comfortably by their hosts when the teams met three weeks ago.
Moore said: “We must be more alert this time.
“They scored two quick goals at our place from set pieces, and we can’t let that happen again.
“We know what to expect; they’re strong, powerful and direct, and it’s an important game for both teams with them trying to get back into the play-offs places.
“Perhaps we won’t be expected to come away from the game with anything, but my lads have proved they’re right up for the fight we’re in by recovering in the way they did [against Gresley].”
He will be boosted by the return of front man Jack Kelleher, who missed Wednesday’s game due to work commitments.
However wide man Yaw Gyimah starts a three-match suspension as punishment for his dismissal last Saturday, while midfielder Lingouba Cesaire is nursing a hamstring injury.
Moore will remind his players of the importance of staying calm after red cards for captain Reece Lyndon and Stuart McDonald mean they will be banned for a likely decisive double-header with Rugby and Loughborough.
“Our discipline went out of the window,” he rued.
“The referee didn’t help, and nor did their management team who seemed to want our players to be booked every time they made a tackle.
“But those suspensions are going to hurt us, more so because we’re still subject to a transfer embargo.
“That left us with mixed emotions after the final whistle; of course we were happy to come back, but we were frustrated as well by what had happened.”
Rushden start tomorrow’s game sitting sixth in the table, one point adrift of Basford in front.
However they have lost their past two games, at Market Drayton last weekend and then at Witton in midweek, and have work to do.