Date: 6th September 2013 at 8:45pm
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Assistant Manager Neil Howarth has called on the players to start stamping their authority on the pitch ahead of our first ever meeting with Portsmouth.

Quite well timed with the Football League celebrating the anniversary of the first ever football league games this weekend, as we have a first of our own when it comes to meeting Portsmouth in a competitive fixture, but Howarth knows that’s something for history to record and it has very little baring on how we have prepared and will approach the match.

Obviously though he hopes history records three points for us and our second league victory of the season.

Speaking to the Official Site the assistant gaffer looked back firstly to the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy game against Plymouth and he said there were positives to take from it, especially our performance in the second half of the game, although he didn’t feel the first half was too shabby outside of conceding the goals against us that we did.

‘You are always working on things, we aren’t sticking our heads in the sand. We are conceding too many goals and it has to stop. It’s something that we won’t overreact too but it’s time to be up and running and we need to tighten up. I thought we played some good stuff in the second half and I actually felt we played well in the first too apart from conceding the goals.’

Howarth says it’s just one of those things unfortunately when it comes to our defending and it’s something that can only be addressed by working hard, having confidence and showing he desire to fix it during 90 minutes because training wise, the players are doing the same as last season where we had the most clean sheets in the league and defensively were extremely tight.

In terms of injury news ahead of the game, he also said that he hopes Steve Elliott will be fit for the weekend game after he took a hit last weekend and was groggy for a few days. He’s not guaranteed to return though.

Matt Richards also took a knock and was sore during the Bury game, and although usually he would’ve been taken off as a precaution they weren’t in the position to do that so he’ll be assessed as close to the game as possible.

We also have Jamie Cureton out who has played 18 minutes so far since joining us from Exeter, scoring once, and again he’s somebody that will be assessed ahead of the game.