Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Football: Great Time for Breather; Quakers Notes We Can Recharge Batteries, Says Fozzy

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Football: Great Time for Breather; Quakers Notes We Can Recharge Batteries, Says Fozzy

Article excerpt

Byline: By ANDREW WILKINSON

INSPIRATIONAL Darlington skipper Steve Foster welcomed today's blank Saturday, feeling that a breather is just what the promotion chasers need.

With the other sides in the top three - Rotherham and MK Dons - also out of the FA Cup at the first hurdle, the top three all have their eyes on only one thing, which is League One football next season.

And that means all three teams - and the chasing pack - will be looking to stay fresh and focused throughout the campaign.

In that respect it is no big loss to be out of action today, while other teams battle for a place in the third round of the FA Cup. One of those teams is Grimsby, who may not be as fresh as Quakers when the sides meet on south Humberside on Tuesday evening.

"We can recharge our batteries," said Fozzy, who defied tired limbs to see off the Wycombe attack in last Saturday's 1-0 home win.

The game came hard on the heels of tough trips to Brentford and Northampton, and Fozzy feels that after winning against Wycombe, the squad could sleep easy and have a breather.

"It's only a 10-day break, but you can enjoy it when you have won," he said. "If we hadn't beaten Wycombe, it would have been a case of being desperate for the next game to come around.

"Maybe then we would have wanted to re-arrange a game for Saturday (today). But we have a busy Christmas period coming up, and must be as well prepared as possible going into it. We are in a good position in the league and ready for the challenges ahead. To be in second place at the start of December is very pleasing.

"And we have had to work hard for it. It was a tough game against Wycombe, especially as we had played in midweek. They gave nothing away and we had to score a very good goal, and battle for the full 90 minutes to win it."

Darlington's staggering number of clean sheets - 12 in 17 League Two games - may give the impression that the defence is too good for League Two, comfortably coping with everything that is thrown at them. …

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