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Basingstoke Town boss says strong start must be built on
BASINGSTOKE Town manager Jason Bristow says his side must build on their encouraging start to the season.
The Camrose club have taken four points from their first two games, an impressive return considering they have faced two of the Blue Square Bet South’s strongest sides.
Saturday’s 2-1 victory over Sutton, who reached the play-offs last season, was followed by a 1-1 draw away at big-spending Eastleigh on Tuesday night.
“If you had offered us four points on Friday I would have snapped your hand off,” Bristow said. “It has been hard work and two tough games but I am delighted with the results and now we need to build on it.”
Next up for Basingstoke is a trip to Staines Town on Saturday (kick-off 3pm). Staines have also taken four points from their opening two games under new manager Marcus Gayle, beating Dorchester 2-1 on Tuesday.
“I’m not sure what to expect,” Bristow said. “We had them watched on Tuesday but working with Wimbledon’s reserves, I expect Marcus Gayle to have a young, developing side.”
Basingstoke will be without midfielder Jide Ogunbote, who is still out with a leg injury, while Shaun McAuley is a major doubt after picking up a hamstring injury at Eastleigh.
McAuley is an important player in Bristow’s preferred 3-5-2 formation and while Jordace Holder-Spooner could be asked to take his place in midfield, the Town boss may opt to switch to a 4-3-3 system.
“Shaun is a big player for us and hopefully the injury is not too serious,” Bristow said. “Jordace has the attributes to play in his position but it might be something we have to work on in training, especially out of possession.”
Basingstoke came from a goal down to grab a point at Eastleigh on Tuesday, Matt Warner levelling the game with a brilliant dead-ball strike.
“It has been a long time coming for Matt to get a goal but it was worth the wait,” Bristow added. “It was a great finish and you could see what it meant to him from his celebration.
“It was a fair result in the end. They got on top in the first half but we were disappointed to concede from a set-piece, which is something we need to look at.
“We changed towards the end of the half and the reaction was great. We have got a good squad and a winning mentality. We knew we would get a reaction and got what we deserved.”