TAUNTON Town manager Leigh Robinson has insisted his side will not underestimate already-relegated Bridgwater Town in Saturday’s derby at Fairfax Park, writes Paul Martin.
The Peacocks needed a late Ollie Chamberlain strike to see off the Robins in August’s reverse fixture, and Robinson is aware that his side need to avoid complacency this weekend.
Looking ahead to the clash, he said: “We are aware of what derbies are about – Bridgwater will play far above their natural level and will be doing their utmost to get a result.
“It can also be a difficult surface there, so we may have to adjust our tactics depending on the state of the pitch, but we will assess that on Saturday.”
The derby match is the first of a quickfire double header - Bideford visit the Viridor Stadium on Easter Monday - and, though Town’s draw with Hereford on Saturday sealed their place in the play-offs, Robinson has stressed upon his side the importance of finishing second.
“It would guarantee us a home play-off – last year we lost the final away from home, so it would be great to have the chance to play a big game in front of our own fans,” he said.
“Finishing second would also represent the progress we are making, having come third last year and fourth the one before.”
Reflecting on Saturday’s draw with champions Hereford, Robinson added: “It was undoubtedly a fair result.
“We showed a good mentality to come back after conceding so early, and it is very positive to have taken four points from such a good side.
“The FA Cup run gave us confidence that we could match top teams, which has been evident in our two games against Hereford, who are far too good for this league.”
Matt Wright returned last weekend but there was no place for Owen Irish, despite his availability after suspension.
“We had a fully fit squad and Owen was on the back of three games out, so there was no room to fit him in, but he will probably play this weekend,” Robinson said.
TO follow the derby against Bridgwater Town as it happens, see our live blog at somersetcountygazette.co.uk/sport on Saturday afternoon.