Devonshire takes heart as formation change works for Iron

Alan Devonshire. Picture: NEIL DADY

Alan Devonshire. Picture: NEIL DADY

First published in Sport by

Braintree Town manager Alan Devonshire said he was encouraged to see his players deal with a change of formation so well as they extended their run of good form with a 2-0 Skrill Premier win at Welling United.

The Iron boss said the thinking behind the 4-5-1 line-up was partly tactical and partly to preserve his playing resources ahead of a spell when his team will face a home game against Nuneaton tonight and then trips to Gateshead, Southport and Halifax in the space of eight days.

Sean Marks was played in a lone striking role at Welling, with five in the midfield rather than the 4-4-2 formation that Devonshire usually prefers and he was pleased with how his players adapted to the change.

He said: “It was a good performance all round as we decided to change the system.

“It took them about ten minutes to get used to it, but once they had we looked very comfortable and totally dominated the game.

“Partly it was down to tactics, but I was also looking to manage the players.

“I didn’t want to play Dan (Holman) up front as I want him to play tonight and I wanted to rest him ahead of the Saturday-Tuesday-Thursday run that we’ve got.

“Playing that formation isn’t something that we’ve worked on in training, but it’s nice to know that the players can deal with it so well.

“It has given me confidence to use it again if we need to in the run that we have coming up.”

Braintree won the game at Welling with a goal by Kenny Davis in the first half and the Iron skipper then fired home from the penalty spot after the break.

The three points took Braintree up to 11th in the table and just three points off the play-off positions.

They know that a win against Nuneaton tonight could see them move into the top five, but Devonshire is still playing down his side’s chances of finishing the season in the play-offs as he knows they face a hectic run before the end of April.

Devonshire said he wasn’t sure if central defender Alan Massey would feature in tonight’s game or not after missing the last two games.

He added: “Tonight might be too soon for Alan.

“I don’t want to risk him and it depends on the pitch.

“If it’s hard, then I won’t because he’s had the foot injury and I don’t want to make it worse for him.”

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