MIKE Grady’s North Wales Crusaders side host London Skolars at the Queensway Stadium on Sunday as they look to bounce back from two successive defeats in the Kingstone Press League 1.
Ahead of the game, Grady says that preparation during the week has been good: “We came into training on Tuesday and have done a lot more work with the video from last week’s game, he said.
“We’ve all sat down and had a discussion to try and get to the bottom of what’s gone wrong in our last two games, we know that they’ve been close but they are both games which we could have won.
He added: “We didn’t have any goals coming into the season, but with the side we’ve got we wanted to be fighting around the top eight.
“The battle to get into the top eight is bigger than ever this year and we need to start picking up points if we want to be one of the teams in contention come July.
“The last couple of games have been frustrating for us all but we’ll now push onto this weekend and look to get the two points.
“I wouldn’t say that our top eight chances rest on this weekend’s result, however we’ve got to be realistic and we’re getting ever closer to the split.”
With a League 1 Cup final set to follow next weekend, Grady says that places in that squad will be up for grabs on Sunday: “As I’ve told the boys in training, based on the last couple of weeks, none of the shirts are filled for the final.
“So there’s an opportunity for the lads to put their hands up on Sunday and claim a place in the squad for the final.”
After players returned from injuries last weekend, Grady could have fresh concerns with captain, Lee Hudson, who left the pitch in last Saturday’s defeat to Gloucestershire All Golds: “Just when players are starting to get back, we’ve gone and lost Lee to an injury.
“We’re waiting on scans to come back before we can say for definite but we could be looking at a good few weeks before he’s able to return to the side.
“He’s an important player for us and I’m gutted for him as he’s been having a fantastic season up to now.
“Thankfully, we’ve got James Dandy who can fill that position and also Aaron Moore, so this is an opportunity now for one of them to come in.”
Grady is also looking forward to getting back out in front of home support: “This season has been a strange one as it feels like we’ve been on the road a lot.
“We’ve played at Gloucestershire the same amount of times as we’ve played at home, and so we’re all looking forward to getting back out in front of the fans at the Queensway.
“London will be a big side and will see this as a game that they’ll want to come away from with a win, but with the fans behind us, I’m hoping that we can claim what could be a vital two points.”
You can catch North Wales Crusaders V London Skolars this Sunday at the Queensway Stadium, Wrexham. Tickets are priced at £10 adults and free for under 16’s.