Triple tonic for Easter clash

Date published: 08 April 2014

ATHLETIC should see three players for their crunch test at Colchester on Good Friday, April 18.

Defensive pair Genseric Kusunga and David Mellor, and midfield anchor Joel Byrom have all been earmarked for a comeback to the squad.

And manager Lee Johnson — who has named four successive identical starting line-ups — says the trio will all be needed in a busy run of games capable of making or breaking Athletic’s season.

“There is no doubt we will need every member of the squad available to us,” said Johnson. “It is quite an intense period of the season we are moving into.”

Though Athletic have 12 days without a game (caused by the rearranged Sheffield United game), their final five Sky Bet League One fixtures are crammed into 16 days, starting with Colchester.

Two of those — Coventry on Easter Monday and Sheffield United on April 29 — are home games.

While happy with three points at Valley Parade, Johnson suggested that if his settled midfield can find more composure in possession, Athletic will be able to frustrate more teams.

“We have got a lot of energy in that midfield now and have players who can also break forward and get into the box,” he added. “I still think we need to calm down a little bit. We do get a bit frantic. It’s about just calming down the mind.”