TOMMY WRIGHT has no doubts Stratford Town will tighten up their defence when they face the top two in the Southern Premier Central this weekend.
And he says they have the attacking options to cause leaders AFC Rushden & Diamonds and second-placed Rushall Olympic problems.
Diamonds, the only team with a 100 per cent record from three games, visit the Arden Garages Stadium on Saturday before Town head to the unbeaten Pics on Monday.
A roller-coaster contest last weekend against visitors Kings Langley ended 3-3 with Town boss Wright admitting his side were too easy to break down.
Wright revealed he had tweaked the rearguard formation but individual errors hardly helped their defensive security.
“We had one training session working on a system which we didn’t even use in pre-season so I have to give the lads some leeway on that and I hope the supporters will understand,” Wright told the Stratford Town Independent Supporters Association website.
“But having said that we didn’t do some of the basics of defending that I was taught as a ten-year-old.
“I look at the goals they’ve scored and I feel frustrated. We were too wide open in midfield and I felt their forwards got in too easily.
“We have to get better defensively but on Saturday I thought that offensively we offered a lot more in attack and caused them problems.
“It was probably a good game for the neutral but not for both managers!
“Our next two games against Rushden and Rushall will be tough but I expect us to compete. They are in-form teams but so were Kings Langley and we matched them toe to toe.
“We will obviously need to be tighter defensively in those games but I fully expect us to be.”
Attack certainly dominated defence on Saturday as four goals were scored in the opening 26 minutes before Stratford grabbed a point with Chris Wreh’s last-minute strike.
Callum Ball gave Town a sixth-minute lead, from Luis Morrison’s header but Kings Langley levelled within a minute after Matt Campbell-Mhlophe beat keeper Sam Lomax to a long punt forward.
Another lapse allowed Eoin McKeown to finish a simple chance to give the visitors the lead on 19 minutes but Lewis Wilson tapped in a Mitchell Glover free kick for 2-2 seven minutes later.
McKeown gave King Langley the lead for a second time on 61 minutes but Town substitute Wreh rescued a point late on from Glover’s free kick.
“It’s one win, one draw and one loss and we’re a work in progress,” said Wright.
“I said before I felt we would get better as the season went on. We felt we had a winning formula during pre-season but then we had a couple leave the club and we’ve had to start again a little bit.”
Wright will hope to have Liam Hughes back to face Diamonds while Morgan Brown will need a check after tonsillitis ruled him out last week.
Cody Fisher and Kynan Isaac, who has returned to the club after his eve-of-season exit, also picked up knocks and will have fitness tests but defender Luis Morrison is suspended.