Basford United have had a mixed season so far in the Southern Central League Premier Division but are looking for improvement at a crucial stage of the season.
The Ambers currently sit in 11th place, with their 34 points seeing them 19 points away from bottom.
They have experienced an upturn in form in recent matches, having picked up four points in their last two games, and confidence is growing within the Basford ranks.
This weekend however, Basford face a huge test as they take on league leaders Tamworth, who are coming off the back of a comprehensive 9-1 victory over Hednesford Town.
Manager of Basford United, Mark Clifford, is optimistic about the upcoming fixture.
He said: “We played them last time and deserved a point out of the game.
“They scored with the last kick of the game last time out to level, and yes they’re a good side, but so are we.”
When it comes to how Basford prepare for the big game, Clifford said: “We don’t train any differently when it comes to these games.
“We just focus on being the better eleven on the day.”
Basford have been the victims of fixture postponements over the past couple weeks, leading to two fixtures having to be rearranged.
This has been a problem in many other leagues across the country, but is something Basford have the fortune of only suffering with away matches – their home 4G pitch being immune to the bad weather.
𝟯 𝗗𝗔𝗬𝗦 𝗧𝗢 𝗚𝗢! 👀
Table-toppers @tamworthfc are in town on Saturday and we'll need plenty of your support behind us, Ambers.
— Basford United FC (@Basfordutdfc) January 25, 2023
Asked about how the team copes with such a sudden change in schedule, Clifford said: “We just get straight on the training pitch, nothing real changes in that respect.
“We keep conceding late goals, which seems to be a bit of a theme of ours this season, but the fixture postponements give us more time to work on those areas.”
With Basford having bolstered their squad with new signings this month, it has been a positive to see exciting performances from new man Kevin Da Silva Bastos, who singed from Loughborough Dynamo.
Clifford said: “I’ve coached Kev before, I know how good of a lad he is and how hard he works, not just for himself but for the team.
“I’m glad to have got the signing over the line and I’m really looking forward to seeing how he progresses.”
Da Silva Bastos made his first appearance in Basford’s 3-0 win over Alvechurch back in mid-January, and Clifford hopes he’ll become a key man for them for the rest of this season.
Clifford certainly seemed optimistic for what is a huge game for both sides, where with a win Basford could see themselves into eighth.