Forest Green must be clever, says Hockaday
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Adaptability could be key if Forest Green are to succeed at strugglers Barrow today.
So says boss Dave Hockaday, whose side have won their last two league matches to climb to third in the table – three points behind leaders Newport.
Last weekend's 4-1 rout of Stockport suggested the team have rediscovered the swagger that carried them to the summit at the end of September, but Hockaday feels a more prosaic brand of football might be required in Cumbria.
Dave Bayliss' Barrow required extra-time to see off Blue Square Bet North side Guiseley in an FA Cup first-round replay on Tuesday.
The Bluebirds have managed only one home win in the league this term and are third-from-bottom of the table, but Hockaday knows from experience that Holker Street is never an easy place to play.
Last term his troops needed a 90th-minute penalty save from Sam Russell to earn a 1-1 draw, having been reduced to ten men shortly before half-time when Jamie Collins was sent off.
The Rovers boss said: "As a player, you want to go into every game feeling confident and good about yourself, but not too good.
"Football has a habit of putting you in your place – and Barrow will want to put us in our place if we turn up with the wrong attitude and ideas above our station.
"It's never an easy ground to go to in every sense of the word – and I've been told the pitch might not be the best, so it might not be a day for flashy football.
"We will always try to pass the ball, but it's also about being clever – and that means getting the basics right. Being clever isn't nutmegging people or chipping goalkeepers.
"We'll give Barrow the respect they deserve and in any game you have to earn the right to play."
There is no danger of Collins falling foul of the officials today, with the midfielder still sidelined by a knee injury.
Kieron Forbes (ankle) and Ben Wright (knee) also miss the trip, while defender Jamie Turley must serve the second of a three-match ban.
Centre-back Chris Todd is likely to be in the squad after returning from a successful loan spell at Hereford United.
Hockaday said: "We're basically as we were in terms of personnel, with the addition of Toddy as a defensive option.
"He's been suffering with a bit of a bug this week, but is obviously desperate to be involved."