Palmer: Break came at a good time for us

Charlie Palmer
Charlie Palmer

Manager Charlie Palmer says a break in Belper Town’s fixture list came at a good time in their Evo-Stik Division One South campaign as they prepare for the busy Christmas period.

The Nailers return to action with a home game against struggling Carlton Town on Saturday before then hosting Alfreton Town in the Derbyshire Senior Cup next Tuesday night.

And despite the enforced break due to postponements and rearranged fixtures coming at a time when the Nailers are on a run of eight games without defeat, Palmer says it is more beneficial to try and continue that run now his players have had a chance to recharge their batteries.

He said: “Things have been going well but I had some key players carrying niggly injuries and this break actually came at a good time.

“The lads had a team day out on Saturday which will have done them good and we’ll have a good blowout in training ahead of the Carlton game to blow any cobwebs away.

“When you’re winning games, you obviously want to continue doing so and attempting to do that with a full strength squad rather than one carrying injuries clearly gives you more chance.”

Saturday’s visitors Carlton lie second from bottom in the league table but, ahead of a scheduled trip to Stamford on Tuesday night after the Belper News had gone to press, they had not lost either of their previous two games, leaving Palmer well aware his players can take nothing for granted.

He said: “They’ve picked up a bit recently and have added some new players as well, so you can’t look too much into their league position.

“I went to watch them against Northwich Victoria last weekend so I have a good idea what they’re about and we’ll be ready for the challenge.”

Tuesday’s Senior Cup tie with Alfreton is a repeat of last year’s final, which the Reds won on penalties, and whilst it’s a competition Palmer wants to see the Nailers again do well in, he is not hiding from the fact that there are bigger priorities.

He said: “We want to go as far as possible in that tournament but any manager will tell you that the league is the priority, so I’ll see how we get through the Carlton game before deciding what kind of team I can pick for the cup tie.”

Overall, Palmer remains delighted by Belper’s recent upturn in form, adding: “Previously I felt we were doing well defensively and not conceding too many goals, but creating chances and scoring goals was proving the big problem.

“We’ve rectified that though and have three strikers who I feel can do really well for us. They’re not firing on all cylinders yet but I’m a patient man and have confidence that the goals will come and that in turn will help us continue our good form.”