Rod Stringer was still on ‘cloud-nine’ following Chelmsford City’s BBC Essex Senior Cup final victory over East Thurrock United but insisted everyone’s was now fully focused on the challenge that lay ahead as his National League South play-off chasers head to Hampton & Richmond Borough on Saturday.

Speaking ahead of what is a vital clash for both side’s, Stringer said: “Hampton & Richmond are still chasing a play-off spot so we know this is going to be a tough test for us. I know their manager, Alan Dowson, very well and have come up against him on quite a few chelmsfordoccasions at various levels. It’s one of those challenges where we have got to get over a few bumps and bruises, that’s where the physio comes in, getting us as ready as we possibly can be ahead of the game.

“Overall, we know it will be tough. They recently drew with Ebbsfleet United. They went down to ten-men but Ebbsfleet still struggled to break them down. We’ve also had reports that the pitch isn’t going to be great over there. I’m told that it is very hard and bobbly. Pitches are often difficult at this stage of the season and that can be a major factor. I thought that we struggled with our own pitch in certain areas last weekend. We will have to roll our sleeves up and deal with that on Saturday.

Stringer continued: “Off the back of the Essex Senior Cup success we need to complement that with another positive result at the Beveree Stadium. If we can do that then we know it will be another massive step towards securing a play-off place. It’s definitely an important game for both clubs. As ever, we go into the match prepared as best we can. Hopefully, the boys are fit and able enough to go again for me.
“We have a big enough squad. We have Ashley Miller and Danny Blanchett back, while Matt Young is on the fringes of the squad. We also have players almost ready to come back after the Senior Cup match at Colchester.

“We have done the best we can and we’ll keep on doing what we are doing. The squad has got enough depth in it to see the season out as well as potential play-off matches.”

The Clarets chief confirmed that Louie Theophanous would be available for the trip, while Chris Bush would miss the match due to suspension. Mark Haines was also a doubt due to injury: “We lose Bushy for three games now, we are going to have to move it about over the next few weeks, Stringer added.


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