Defender Joe Ellul says Braintree Town’s senior players may have to “not be so nice” to make sure mistakes are cut out and keep their Vanarama National League South promotion push on track.

A last-gasp goal against Hemel Hempstead last weekend saw Braintree caught out as they were beaten 2-1 and manager Brad Quinton admitted that his players had been naive in how they had approached the end part of the game. The Iron boss is looking to the more experienced players within his squad to take the lead in cutting out mistakes on the pitch and, as the team head to Welling United on Saturday, Ellul feels they may have to find a nasty streak to make sure they follow their manager’s instructions.

Ellul said: “To be fair, myself, Marc (Okoye), Ricky (Gabriel) and Nath (McDonald) are the oldest in the squad and we try to stamp that authority, but you can’t make people do things. They have their own minds and they have their own vision – good vision – for passes they can play; it may not always be the right thing but it will be the pass they want to make.

“I’m not going to criticise anyone for doing that because when it works it’s great. Look at us against East Thurrock – we tore them apart.

“However, there are times when the more senior players have to take it upon ourselves now to get in players’ ears and maybe not be so nice.”

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