BRAINTREE Town manager Brad Quinton has stressed how important discipline on the pitch will be to his team’s hopes of success in the Vanarama National League South this season.

The Iron head into Saturday’s home game against Wealdstone sitting sixth in the table and still battling hard to secure a place in the end-of-season promotion play-offs but they know they have work ahead to finish in the top seven.

It has been tough since the start of January for Quinton’s side as, apart from an impressive win against East Thurrock United and a 1-0 win against Poole Town in their last game, they have taken just three points from a possible 21.

However, that win against Poole has revitalised the Iron’s push and Quinton feels they can look forward to a good run-in to the end of the season.

He does know, though, that he needs everyone in his squad to be doing their bit for the team’s cause and insists that suspensions must be cut out.

While injuries are often unavoidable, bans like Ricky Gabriel’s three-match one for a sending off at Welling and the current two-match one for skipper Marc-Anthony Okoye - that will sideline him again for the visit of Wealdstone - after picking up ten bookings in the season, can be costly.

Quinton said: “At this level of football, discipline is key.

“As coaches, you only have two and half to three hours tops to work with the players each week – if you’re lucky.

“So it’s very hard to keep them mentally focused and when people are out it makes it even tougher.

“Ricky was out for three games and I’m sure he looks back at it and sees that we went on a bit of a bad run from that incident.

“So it cost us and that’s massive at this level.”

Meanwhile, Quinton has been tweaking his Braintree squad this week with one of his Ipswich Town loan players returning to their parent club and the other agreeing to stay on for another month.

Defender Patrick Webber’s loan with the Iron has been extended into a second month but winger Conor McKendry has returned to the Blues.

Webber, 18, has made three appearances for the Iron since the duo joined them in early February and he will now remain with the club until April 7.

Northern Irish under-21 player McKendry, who is 19 and also joined at the start of last month, made one start and two substitute appearances while at Braintree.