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Club News

Braintree First Leg Reaction

5 May 2016

Paul Hurst believes that the side have it in them to turn around a narrow 1-0 National League Play-Off Semi-Final deficit against Braintree Town on Sunday afternoon, and has urged his side to have the same belief ahead of the fixture.

A penalty from Kenny Davis saw the Essex side come away from Blundell Park with a narrow advantage ahead of the second leg at Cressing Road on Thursday night, but speaking after the game, the Town boss said that the tie is very much alive.

He said: '''We wanted to be the ones in front and take an advantage down to Braintree but that's not the case.

''(We) certainly had the opportunities to get on the scoresheet tonight but didn't take them and that's what football's all about.

''I think we had more enough of the game but ultimately, Braintree have come away and will be delighted with the result.''

''Nine times out of ten, Podge has had a couple of chances that he'd score but tonight he hasn't so maybe it wasn't his night.

''But I've just said there in another interview that if we had come off having been totally outplayed and said that they're a much better team than us then I'd have serious concerns about going there Sunday, but I don't think that's been the case in any of the games we've played in truth.

'We do know that they're very difficult to break down and the scorelines we've had against them so far show that but there's a little bit pf pressure on them now, they're the favrouties going into it so we'll see if we can turn it around.''

Asked if he believed the team were lacking a spark, particularly in the second half where the side were unable to get back on level terms, Hurst said: ''I thought we started the second half well. The penalty naturally knocks the team and the fans as well but overall, we've had a lot of the ball and I've said many times before that if a team stick ten men behind the ball its hard to play against.

''We haven't got that real big centre forward that's gonna win all the headers, that's what I've been searching for from day one and I haven't quite managed to find it but you are a reliant on putting a few crosses in the box and balls from deeper.

''But we've got to ask questions and that's something we'll talk about between now and Sunday.''

Town will have to do something they haven't done in three games against Braintree Town so far this season and hit the back of the net to have any chance of making it to the National League Promotion Final, but Hurst believes that the side still have a good chance.

''I'm not gonna sit here and say I'll put my mortgage on it but we've got a real chance,'' said Hurst.

''They have to believe because while as a manager, I believe but the players are the ones that have to believe it.

''I'm sure they'll be some fans there that have given up, others will say we've got a good chance but the players are the most important, they have to go in there and have it in their mind that they can get a goal.

''You'd think the first goal will be crucial if there is to be a goal because if we get it then I think there's suddenly a change of momentum there.

''I'm not gonna say it'll be easy but I still believe.''

Watch the full post-match press conference below.

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