Tough times ahead

PUBLISHED: 18:03 26 January 2007 | UPDATED: 10:31 24 May 2010

THE Seagulls face two more potentially difficult ties inside the next week, firstly facing a trip to Essex-based, currently eighth placed Braintree

THE Seagulls face two more potentially difficult ties inside the next week, firstly facing a trip to Essex-based, currently eighth placed Braintree Town tomorrow (Sat) before they face fourth placed Havant and Waterlooville at the Woodspring Stadium on Wednesday evening next, kick- off 7.45pm. The Essex club, just three points outside the top four, will be looking at consolidating their position at the top, but after a run of poor form which has seen Frank Gregan's men suffer two home defeats to Grays Athletic in the FA Trophy and Sutton, the team will be looking to regain their way and rebuild their confidence in these games. As hard as these fixtures look on paper, Weston traditionally do well against teams in the higher echelons of the league, and by all reports the team have rigorously stepped up their training routine in order to shake themselves up and a return to the form shown both in early December with the exciting win over Farnborough and the gutsy performances against Salisbury City over the festive period. Gregan, following Saturday's defeat was quoted as saying: "With the amount of chances we created, we should never have lost like that and it's very frustrating but the boys gave everything, and I know that if they continue doing that then we'll pull away from the bottom pack".Injury victims Gary Thorne and Ryan Harley should have recovered from knocks in time for Saturday's trip round the M25, and manager Gregan may well have a selection dilemma on his hands following Saturday's positive introduction of both new loan signings Mark Preece, from Forest Green Rover, and Michael Whittington, from Cheltenham Town. Whittington was particularly lively in his 30-minute substitute appearance, and both players will want to put on a good showing for the club in their month-long loan spells, and it would not be a surprise to use Saturday's game at Braintree just to kick-start this. Weston's new Brazilian born striker, Gustavo Zardetto also made a cameo appearance in the latter stages of Saturday's game, so the manager certainly has options open to him.

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