The Forest Green Rovers defence goes into this weekend’s clash with Barrow looking to make it three clean sheets on the bounce.
Back-to-back 1-0 wins over Bromley and Braintree have seen FGR successfully record two shut outs from their last two games, a defensive statistic that has seen the team continue to hold its position in the league’s top two.
Goalkeeper Sam Russell has been a key part of that success. The experienced stopper made a crucial penalty save last week at Braintree, but despite the recent positive defensive showings cares little how games are won, as long as they get the three points.
“We haven’t had a clean sheet in a while, so having back-to-back clean sheets proves to everyone and ourselves as a team that we can do it, and hopefully there are a lot more to come,” he said.
“We were never going to doubt from the start of the season the quality we have in defence. Clean sheets are important but at the end of the day it’s about the three points. If you win a game 5-4 all season you take that.”
This weekend sees an in form Barrow visit The New Lawn, fresh on the back of a 2-0 win against York City.
Paul Cox’s men represent one of Forest Green’s toughest challenges this season, but Russell and his team are prepared for the challenge that awaits.
“We know it is going to be tough,” he added. “They’re going to pump a lot of balls into the box and we’ve got to be strong as a unit. Everyone is going to have to play their part defensively, and hopefully we can play the way we have been playing and don’t have to defend too much.”
Back in Nailsworth after a one season break away at Gateshead, the 33-year-old has re-joined an FGR side edging ever nearer to promotion to the Football League.
There’s a winning mentality in this side that brings huge expectations, however despite reaching the quarter point of the season and finding themselves in a fantastic position, Russell just wants to get his head down and get on with the job.
“When we had the six wins in a row, and had the defeat, we bounced back. It shows we’ve got a winning mentality in the group that the gaffer has put in.
“It’s not an expectation of winning but we’re so confident that we feel we go into every game looking for three points.
“I don’t look at the table much. It’s more important at the business end that we keep this run going.
“Some people look at the table, but we all know what this league is like and it’s mainly teams who can keep up the momentum all season, and especially towards the business end, that go and win the league or get promoted.”