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Mental test for Braintree Town players now insists boss Devonshire
12:00am Saturday 27th July 2013 in Sport
BRAINTREE Town boss Alan Devonshire admits his players may face a “mental test” as the Iron take their pre-season campaign on the road.
Devonshire’s team have only played one game away from the Amlin Stadium so far – at neighbours Witham Town, when mostly trialists were on show.
All four of their other games have all come on home turf against Football League sides Colchester United, Southend United and Portsmouth and an attractive fixture against the West Ham Academy side that Braintree won 3-2 on Wednesday.
Devonshire knows his players will be up for glamour games like those, but will want to see a similar enthusiasm when they head to Ryman League premier division side Leiston today (kick-off 3pm).
Devonshire said: “It is a mental test now for the boys.
“They have had some big games at our place against League clubs who are all above us.
“It’s easy to get themselves up for them, but it may be a mental test for them to go to places like Leiston, Lowestoft and Histon now.
“But it’s not about the results, it’s about the fitness and sharpness and finding out about players.
“That’s all I’m interested in.”
Iron skipper Kenny Davis picked up a knock on his ankle in the win against West Ham’s youngsters and is a doubt for tomorrow’s game, as is James Mulley who is recovering from having wisdom teeth removed.
Davis opened the scoring early on in the encounter with the Hammers, before goals either side of half-time put the visitors in front.
But Braintree hit back with classy strikes by Dan Sparkes and Dan Holman to seal a 3-2 win and leave Devonshire far happier than he had been after their previous pre-season game against Colchester United last weekend.
He said: “I was more pleased by what I saw against West Ham.
“I played Chez (Isaac) on the right hand side and learned some things. When he came here, he had been a holding midfielder at Boreham Wood, but I don’t see him in that role for me.
“I think he can play left, right or middle and do jobs across the middle.
“He proved that against West Ham and that’s a plus for me and the kid because I thought he was excellent.
“It’s good to know there are certain things we can move around and perhaps play four midfield players away from home sometimes, maybe later in games.”
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