DINO Maamria and his team are raring to go after a two-week break caused by international call-ups.
The Brewers visit Cheltenham Town on Saturday, with the hosts unbeaten in five league games following Wednesday night’s draw with Sheffield Wednesday.
The fixture arrives two weeks after the Brewers recorded a morale-boosting win in the Staffordshire Derby away at Port Vale ahead of the international break.
Striker Dale Taylor celebrated his international call-up with two goals in a good team performance at Vale Park, before travelling with the Northern Ireland national side. Zac Ashworth went on to feature for the Wales Under-21 side and Michael Mancienne scored a vital goal for The Seychelles against Bangladesh.
“We sent Dale to score goals and somehow Mance ended up scoring instead!” joked Maamria. “It’s great to see and hopefully he’ll come back full of confidence.
“Zac (Ashworth) and Dale (Taylor) are back already; they’ve looked sharp and ready to go. Mance had a later flight so he should be back with us tomorrow.”
Despite not getting any minutes for Northern Ireland, Dale Taylor’s confidence clearly hasn’t been hindered and Dino has stated that he, alongside most of the team, are in good shape to return to action for the final ten games of the season.
“We’ve had two weeks since our last game,” stated Maamria. “Hopefully the time off has been useful for us, but we won’t know until the game’s kicked off. We used the break to get the players prepared for not just this game but the next ten.
“We’re not going to be able to get lots of training sessions between games, so we have to be prepared, and fingers crossed we won’t get many more injuries.”
The only current absence is Tom Hamer, who remains doubtful for the weekend due to a hamstring injury. Gassan Ahadme and Mustapha Carayol could be back in contention.
Hamer’s injury has, however, paved the way for Academy graduate Thierry Latty-Fairweather, who has been recalled from Hereford Town with the huge possibility of featuring in Maamria’s squad.
The young full-back impressed whilst on loan at The Whites and could be presented with first team opportunities.
“We recalled Thierry back from Hereford,” confirmed Maamria. “He’s trained with us over the last two weeks and shown glimpses of how good he can be.
“Hopefully, he will play his part from now to the end of the season. I’m confident he will contribute something positive between now and then.”