Stafford have a new manager in the dugout for our festive fixture. Dave Cooke, the former Nantwich Town gaffer, replaced Rangers' former boss Matt Hill at the back end of November after they endured an eleven game winless run. Despite the appointment of Cooke, the new manager bounce hasn't quite materialised. Ethan Stewart netting a double against the side they replaced at the foot of the table on Saturday, a rare win that halted the run of games without victory at a dozen.
After five defeats in our last 6, the Holy Blues will be looking to finally end our victory drought against the side who have really struggled for goals, scoring the least in the division, 20 goals in the 22 games they’ve played, but to hurt the 'Boro, the Blues will need to get 'back to basics'. Wilcox stressed in his post match interview that Trinity have walked away from the fundamentals like defending well in the box and need to get back to doing the basics.
In the last few games we have been playing teams at the top end of the table, who have play-off aspirations, and our struggles have been amplified. Now, we will be looking to get back into form and take all three points from Stafford. Who, despite their lowly position in the league, always prove a tough nut for the Holy Blues to crack.
Stafford's most important player is fan favourite Kaiman Anderson, the forward is Boro's top goalscorer with six goals to his name. Dave Cooke has been busy in the transfer market though, has strengthened his attacking options with the signing of son, Sean. Cooke junior is a dangerous provider of goals and assists, both from open play & set pieces, so the Gainsborough rearguard will need to be switched on.
After losing Javelle Clarke to injury many fans looked to Declan Howe to get back amongst the goals, and after a goal against Macclesfield, taking the popular front man into double digits, the Blues will be hoping he can get another run of goals going - and what better game to start a run, than this one?
Unable to make the trip? Keep abreast of all the action, as it happens on Gainsborough Trinity Radio. Regular host Rob Hughes is joined on commentary duty by Stafford based journalist Jacob Cross. Be sure to listen in, if you can't make the journey to Staffordshire - and drop us a message while you're at it! The link to the commentary is right here. And often starts at around five to three!
Next in Action
Following the Boxing Day festivities, Russ Wilcox's Holy Blues bring in the New Year, welcoming high-flying Worksop to the Kal Group Stadium. Tickets can be purchased for this one ahead of time by visiting the online portal, here.
Ashton United vs FC United of Manchester
Atherton Collieries vs Workington AFC
Bamber Bridge vs Lancaster City
Guiseley vs Marske United
Ilkeston Town vs Matlock Town
Macclesfield vs Hyde United
Marine vs Warrington Rylands
Morpeth Town vs Whitby Town
Radcliffe vs Bradford (Park Avenue)
Worksop Town vs Basford United
Preview by Rob Hughes (@AATM_Media) and James Whitbread (@JW__Journalism)
Image by David Bury from his Macclesfield album