Reporter: MATTHEW CHAMBERS
Date online: 12 December 2013
THE mental slate has been wiped clean by Athletic as preparations start for another vitally-important part of the season.
Players and management were back at Boundary Park this morning ahead of the difficult Sky Bet League One game at Brentford on Saturday.
Athletic will do well to extend their unbeaten run to 10 matches at Griffin Park - home of a Bees side which has won seven and drawn one of their last eight league games.
The disappointing penalty shoot-out loss to Chesterfield won’t linger, says manager Lee Johnson, who follows up the Brentford trip with a vital FA Cup replay date at Mansfield three days later.
“It’s a big week for us. We have kept our unbeaten run going and we have to continue that now.”
James Dayton remains a doubt for the weekend with an ankle injury, and with fellow winger Sidney Schmeltz seemingly out of favour, it looks like a similar line-up on Saturday for Johnson, who explained his changes for the Spireites’ visit.
“Genseric Kusunga was always going to come back in anyway as he has been excellent,” the manager added.
“James Wesolowski was the same and I felt Ellis Plummer couldn’t quite handle the 90 minutes two or three times in a week. Jonson Clarke-Harris was rested on Saturday for the Chesterfield game.”
Johnson says Athletic must get better at dealing with the tactics thrown up by sides sitting deep.
“We have a reputation as a good footballing side and teams are coming to Boundary Park for a draw,” Johnson added. “We have seen that twice now in the last two games — and both teams have got it.
“We can’t fall to the tempo of the opposition. We have to continue probing and be a bit more clever around the box.”
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