‘Put pressure on our rivals’ – Tamworth FC look to strengthen position at top of the league

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Joint Tamworth FC boss Gary Smith has urged his table-topping squad to put pressure on the sides below them in the table.

The leaders entertain Lowestoft at The Lamb on Saturday, kick-off 3pm, hoping to maintain their impressive form in the Bet Victor Southern Premier Central.

Tamworth currently hold a one-point lead over second-placed Banbury, who have played three more games than Smith’s side.

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And the Lambs boss said: “We want to put pressure on the teams chasing us.”

“We will respect Lowestoft this weekend, of course, but the aim is for three points.

“We want to keep on winning and the more we can do that the better.

“It’s a great position to be in at the moment but there’s a long way to go.

“There’s a lot of football left to be played before the prizes are given out.

“The lads know what is required of them though and they are working hard towards the end goal.”

Tamworth head into the weekend on the back of a fortnight off.

They had no game last Saturday and their midweek Staffordshire Senior Cup tie with Hednesford, due to take place at Keys Park, was postponed.

“The lads have had a rest from games but they have come in for training and have done well,” Smith added.

“They have put a shift in and we have prepared well for Lowestoft.”

The Lambs will be without Joe Magunda this weekend.

They had hoped to add a new defender for the weekend but that appears to have stalled.

“Joe’s going to be out for a couple of weeks,” said Smith.

“He has a problem in the tendon between his knee and calf. He’s had a scan.

“Luckily with the break, we won’t lose him for as many games.

“He’s got a rehabilitation programme and hopefully it’ll only be a couple of weeks.

“Joe’s a big player for us. He’s a solid player who brings a lot to the table.

“He marshals people around him and it’s like having a second captain on the pitch (To Ryan Beswick). He’s a big miss for us.”

The Lambs otherwise have a fully fit squad to choose from with all ‘fit and raring to go’, added Smith.

Meanwhile, Thomas  Baillie believes Tamworth will face one of the best strikers in the league this weekend.

Lowestoft – 18th in the Bet Victory Southern Premier Central – arrive at The Lamb on Saturday with Jake Reed spearheading the attack.

Reed has seven goals so far this season and Baillie says the Lambs need to be alert to his threat.

“In Jake Reed, Lowestoft have one of the best strikers in the league, regardless of their position,” he said.

“They will carve out chances for him and it’s up to us to try to minimise that threat as best we can.

“It’ll be a tough game. They are a well-organised and experienced side.”

Baillie says games against sides near the bottom are no different to clashes against those teams at the top given the challenges that the league brings.

“There’s no rhyme or reason in this league,” he said. “Whoever wants it on the day wins the game.

“If a bottom of the table side wants it more they will pick up the points.

“It’s a tight league in the sense that even the teams at the bottom are not getting over run in games.

“There are so many good teams and good players in this division. We have to be on our game all the time.”

Baillie, meanwhile, is delighted that the Lambs have been able to bolster their squad by bringing in Chris Lait.

“It’s a signing that has been bubbling away for a while and we are glad to have him on board,” he said.

“We are just really glad to get him here. He’s a fantastic player.

“He tried his hand at Telford and it didn’t work out for him.

“He has come back in and he’s fully committed. He asked for an option to be inserted for him to stay next season.

“That showed me he wants to be here for the long haul. It showed he has the right mentality.

“He’s a very talented player. I’ve seen that when he’s faced my teams over the years.

“He came in for training last week and he gave the group a lift. You could see the excitement within the group, seeing him back.

“He’s 26-27 now and, for me, he’s coming to the peak time in his career. He has an opportunity now.

“We wanted to raise the bar for the whole team.

“Everyone knows they can’t slack because of the strength in depth we have.

“Laity has been added to that but he knows that he will have to fight for his place.”

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