BRAINTREE Town manager Ryan Maxwell has praised his players for the way in which they have dealt with the disruption to their season.

The Iron have not played a competitive match since mid-January after the National League South season was suspended for a fortnight and the cold snap led to an enforced break between games.

It has been a frustrating period for boss Maxwell and his players, particularly as it had seemed they had turned the corner following some encouraging results, including a 2-0 win at Maidstone United in their last match on January 19.

But Maxwell says he is keeping his players engaged with training sessions both at and away from the club – and the Iron boss has nothing but good words to say about their attitude during some tough times.

He said: “We’re preparing as best we can and in fairness to the lads, they’ve been unwavering in their focus and they realise that things can change at the last moment.

“It’s not been too difficult to keep the morale up because they are really great lads and good character, which has been vital in the results.

“It’s a massive factor in the turnaround and that’s probably more important than the ability.

“They’ve been given work to do from home and they’re kind of getting used to it, if I’m really honest.

“All credit has to go to them as people, never mind footballers because they’ve not really moaned about anything.

“We came in last Saturday and trained and 19 players travelled in.

“With the financial difficulty as well at the minute, I can’t really speak highly enough of them as lads.

“There are boys travelling a good hour and a half to get into training.”

Braintree are due to return to action this weekend when they host Maidstone United, at Cressing Road.

However, a decision will have to be made on whether the pitch is playable, following the recent cold snap and heavy snow in the Braintree region.

“I think the only thing that will call that game off, certainly from our side of things, will be the weather,” said Maxwell.

“We’ve had about four or five inches of snow at the ground and how we get rid of that is all down to the weather, which isn’t looking too great to be honest.

“But we’re prepared for that game and we’re not looking to call it off – we’d love another match, that’s for sure.

“I know (Maidstone head coach) Hakan (Hayrettin) pretty well and I played for him.

“I had a chat with him on Tuesday and as far as he’s aware, they’re planning to play and we’re certainly planning to play.”