HELLENIC LEAGUE: Fairford boss asks players to behave over Christmas

Swindon Advertiser: Paul Braithwaite Paul Braithwaite

PAUL Braithwaite is keeping his fingers crossed that his Fairford players will spend limited time at the bar over the festive period.

The Reds are at home to Malmesbury tonight - weather permitting - off the back of a pre-Christmas weekend on which many in non-league will have indulged.

But boss Braithwaite is keen for his players to act responsibly where alcohol is concerned over the next couple of weeks, although he knows that is a lot to ask.

“The Christmas period is a funny one. It all depends on players’ attitudes and what they want to get out of it,” he said.

“They can go out on a Saturday and Sunday and get leathered and lose a game, or they can just have a few and play well and win a game.

“We’ll see. I think there will be a few heavy heads this weekend so Monday might be a surprise for a few people.

“I had one or two with heavy heads on Saturday (when Fairford beat Letcombe 3-2) but I understand it’s Christmas and you have to be a little bit realistic because we’re not paying these players.

“No one’s tied down to be doing this. All we can ask is can you just be a little bit more sensible and do the right thing.”

Fairford will this evening welcome back Nathan Gambling from suspension as well as Henry Trass, while Alex Rudd (hamstring) and James Eddy are possibles to play.

Cameron McLarty is available again while Kyle Murdoch could make the bench following nearly two months out.

Braithwaite has warned against complacency as Fairford prepare to take on a struggling side that performed well the last time the teams met on November 9.

“Myself and the team will approach it as we would any game,” said Braithwaite. “It doesn’t matter if we’re playing Tytherington who are at the top or Letcombe who are at the bottom.

“We played Malmesbury not so long ago (Fairford won 2-0 at the Flying Monk) and to be fair to them, they gave us a right good game.

“They did very well, got involved and competed all over the pitch, so we won’t be going into the game thinking we’ve got three points in the bag.

“It’s vital that we go in with the same mentality that we’ve played the last three games.

“We need to make sure that we defend solidly and that when we attack, we attack with purpose and are ruthless in front goal.”

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