MARTIN Rowe is hoping to end Gresley’s poor run away from home tomorrow night (Wednesday), but says his side’s form is not as bad as statistics might suggest.
The Moatmen travel to Leek Town, kick-off 7.45pm, hoping to do the double over the promotion-seeking Blues and end a run of seven defeats on the road.
They have not won away since beating Grantham Town on December 3 in the Doodson Sports Cup second round, and not in the league since the start of November, when they beat Sutton Coldfield Town.
However, with four away games postponed in that period and six of those seven games being defeats by just one goal, Rowe is not being too down on his side.
“People have been talking about our away form, but a lot of those games have been called off and a lot of others, we have been unlucky to lose,” he said.
“Decisions haven’t gone our way – you look at the Brigg game where their winner was offside, or when Market Drayton scored an equaliser after a blatant handball.
“These things normally even out over the season, so hopefully we’ll start getting the rub of the green soon.
“But we know we’ve got to be better away from home.
“I’m very pleased with our home form but unfortunately our away form has slipped up.
“And that’s nothing to do with the way we play, it’s just due to poor defending at the end of games.”
With Saturday’s goal hero Jack Langston out for a fortnight with a leg injury, Rowe admitted he might opt for a more defensive setup in order to try and stop the rot away from the Moat Ground.
Marc Strzyzewski returned to the Gresley back-line for last weekend’s 2-1 win over Goole, with Liam Guest named on the bench but not risked.
Strzyzewski could step into midfield, although skipper Jamie Barrett or utility man John Guy are more likely to do so.
Meanwhile, Rowe still believes that Gresley could finish in the top half of the Evo-Stik NPL Division One South table, especially now that Eastwood Town have resigned from the league.
The Moatmen have not yet faced the Badgers in the league, and if the latter’s record for the season so far is expunged, Rowe is likely to see his side gain points on the teams both above and below them.
“We might go up a couple of positions,” he said.
“There’s no reason we can’t finish in the top half and have a good end to the season.”
First they have to get past a rematch with Leek which Gresley are expecting to be tasty following a 4-1 win at the Moat Ground last month.
“Leek will be wanting revenge,” said Rowe.
“But we are quietly confident we can get something out of the game.
“After Saturday’s game we sat the lads down and told them we’ve got two away games coming up and that with this and the Lincoln United game on Saturday, we’re looking to get a minimum of a point from each game.
“If we can win them, then happy days.
“But we’ve got to turn up for the first half, unlike against Loughborough last week (a 4-3 defeat).”
Strzyzewski is now likely to remain at Gresley for the rest of the season after a six-game loan spell to Rocester ended last week, but Guest will be hoping to return to the defence tonight.
Danny Holmes is unavailable against his former club, while Royce Turville is likely to be on the bench again.