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Bristow: There's still plenty to play for
HIS side may look set for a mid-table finish – but Basingstoke Town manager Jason Bristow insists that there is still plenty to play for between now and the end of the season.
Going into the final eight games of the season, Town are 14th in the Blue Square Bet South table, 10 points outside the play-off places and nine points clear of the relegation zone.
You couldn’t get much more mid-table than that, but Bristow will not tolerate his players taking their foot off the gas as the season comes to a close.
“It should not be difficult for the players to motivate themselves,” he said. “When I was a player I wanted to win every game I played and that is the way it should be.
“Some players are playing for contracts and we still need a couple more wins to ensure we are safe. Once we have them we will start to focus on who we are going to keep and areas where we need to bring people in.”
Next up for Town is a tricky trip to Bath City on Saturday (kick-off 3pm). The Somerset side are just above Basingstoke in the table and go into the game on the back of two good results at home.
A last-gasp equaliser earned them a 2-2 draw against play-off contenders Chelmsford last weekend, while top-of-the-table Welling were beaten 1-0 at Twerton Park on Tuesday night.
However, Basingstoke won 2-1 when the sides met at the Camrose back in Jaunary and they too are on a decent run, going five games without defeat.
Bristow said: “Bath is a very tough place to go to but we are going there for three points. There is lots of positivity around us at the moment.
“The defence has been excellent, the midfield has supported well going forward and back, while the forwards look a threat and are doing a good job helping out defensively.
“Bath were a good side when they came to our place. We won, but they played some nice stuff and moved the ball well.
“It will be tough, as they all are in this league, but we go in with confidence, especially about the way we have been defending and must just look after ourselves.”
Town will continue to be without central defensive due Ross Adams and Jay Gasson, with both doubtful for the rest of the season. A scan on Adams’ ankle revealed torn ligaments, while Gasson is still waiting to undergo a scan on his knee.
Visit the website basingstokegazette.co.uk/sport for live updates from Twerton Park on Saturday afternoon.