Blues hoping to go forth in cup

NELSON FC: Manager Paul Painter.'Photo Ben Parsons
NELSON FC: Manager Paul Painter.'Photo Ben Parsons

NELSON boss Paul Paynter remains in a positive mood despite last weekend’s First Division Trophy rematch against Formby being postponed for a fourth time.

The Blues were originally set to play their First Division rivals in late November, but a series of waterlogged pitches and a rather unfortunate floodlight failure have left Nelson’s players with a sense of deja vu regarding this particular fixture. Saturday will see the Blues attempt to play their second round cup tie against Formby for an astonishing fifth time in just over two months.

However, Paynter is still able to see the sunnier side of this bleak winter weather: “I see this (Saturday’s postponement) as a positive and I’m looking forward to finally getting the match played. It’s actually worked out better for us. We had a couple of players missing last week but they’re all back now.”

The Blues are by no means at full strength though, with a number of absentees and new additions causing selection issues: “Unfortunately, because we had to register players for this competition I haven’t been able to include one or two new signings, which is a shame really because they’ve been looking like very good players,” said Paynter.

“There are a couple of suspensions to get out of the way too, so playing this game will allow those players to return for the league games.”

Before the floodlight failure brought this match to a halt last month, the Blues boss admitted that there were a number of ill-tempered events on the pitch, but insists that the team can draw positives from the experience: “It got a bit shirty in the last match, but I’m going to use that to get the lads fired up.”

Despite the extensive winter break, Paynter hasn’t let his players have too much of a rest and has reminded them that practice makes perfect: “There are a few things we’ve been putting into practice.

“We keep training once a week, twice if we have a game called off on a Saturday. I always manage to get the lads together on Wednesday nights for training over in Blackburn. It’s mainly to keep them sharp and ready for when we get playing again.

“It’s far from ideal that we haven’t played in so long, but we’re doing all we can to be ready for the next game.”

Paynter also believes that the health and wellbeing of his team isn’t suffering, even with the lack of matches: “Most of the team are quite clean living. The lads don’t really drink heavily and there’s no real binge eating. Obviously, we occasionally eat some things we shouldn’t, but other than that we’re all quite healthy.

“In my experience, normally you can go through a three or four week period when you don’t have any games but we’ve gone over two months now without playing a game, so it is a bit frustrating. I always like to turn these things in to positives though, so the break has given us a chance to work on areas of our game that need improving.”

With a deluge of up coming games, Paynter has urged fans to attend matches and provide a lift for the team: “The games are going to come think and fast now and I want people to come and get behind us,” he said. “We’re going to have a few midweek night games because of the amount of fixtures we’ve got to play, so if we could get some more support, that would be great.”