MIKE FLYNN SAYS: This week will be tough on us all
10:10am Saturday 16th March 2013 in Latest Football
TAKE a deep breath County fans, it’s going to be a busy week!
We’re all gearing up for a ridiculous schedule of five games in 11 days thanks to the Conference’s decision to order us to play Gateshead at York next Thursday night.
As we all know it’s a match that has already been postponed and rearranged twice and the whole situation is an absolute shambles.
The fact that we have to play three away games in a row and make three long trips is crazy really.
It’s going to test us as a squad and the manager might feel the need to bring one or two players in now so these things have a knock-on effect.
It’s going to cost the club more money so it’s not a good situation and it definitely needs to be sorted for next season if Gateshead are still in the league.
It’s not great for us but this is what the squad is for and the boys who haven’t been involved up to now will get a chance to show what they can do.
If I play all five games between today and a week on Tuesday I’d be surprised. I feel really fit but I’ve never had to play so many games in so many days.
When I was a kid we played every day but its different when you’re going for the Conference title with a place in the Football League at stake.
The tempo and the pace of the games will be a real test of our stamina.
Tony James will be feeling the same and us oldies will just have to see how we cope from game to game.
If we can come through the next five games with a healthy points total – between 10 and 15 –then we’ll be set up nicely for the last seven games of the season.
I think we’ll come through it and still be in contention for the title.
Looking at the top five in the table there is a bit of a gap opening up below so, without wanting to jinx anything, it looks like the play-off places are pretty much set now.
But we’re not going for the play-offs, we’re going for the automatic spot.
The play-offs can be a bit of a lottery as Wrexham have found out over the past few years after coming close.
Anyone can have an off day and you get some funny results in the play-offs so we want to avoid them if at all possible.
And I want an extra two weeks holiday as well!
The 1-1 draw at Ebbsfleet last Saturday was frustrating because we missed a penalty with the last kick of the game to win it but none of us can blame Andy Sandell whose spot kick was saved by Preston Edwards.
Sands didn’t miss on purpose and he showed his character to step up and take it under great pressure.
Every result is crucial now but Wrexham and Grimsby have also dropped points and I’m sure Mansfield and Kidderminster will as well.
Everyone is pointing to Mansfield as the favourites now but we beat them pretty comfortably a few weeks ago and we’ll be aiming to do the same to Kiddy when they come to Rodney Parade on Tuesday night.
We’ve still got games in hand as well so we’re in a great position but we know that we have to win those games in hand to make that advantage count.
Macclesfield will be a test today but they’re all massive games now and this is where you want to be at the business end of the season.
As aggrieved as we are at the fixture list I think there are a lot of teams that would swap places with us to be in with a chance of automatic promotion.
After the match today I’ll definitely be watching the Wales v England game and hopefully cheering on Rob Howley’s boys to victory over the old enemy.
I’ve had a bet with our assistant manager Jimmy Dack on the outcome.
I’m backing Wales, obviously, but Dacky is a proud Englishman so we’ll see who comes out on top.
I tried to persuade him to bet his new BMW that he got as a part of the club’s sponsorship with Sytner in Newport.
I couldn’t convince him to go for that but I will be collecting my £10 from him tonight.