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Peters admits Magpies might struggle for sharpness in first competitive game in over a month

Photo by Darren Woolley

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Ryan Peters admits the Magpies players might struggle to find their second wind this weekend as the club prepares to play their first competitive game in a month.

On Saturday, Maidenhead United visit Woking hoping to impose the form they had displayed in their last National League game against Wealdstone.

Peters knows this will be no easy task, however, with the club having suffered a four-week layoff from competitive fixtures due to postponements and suspensions brought on by COVID.

“It’s going to be tough, you can’t get away from that,” he said. “A four-week layoff means there is going to be some downturn in fitness levels. It doesn’t how much you train; it’s never ever going to be the same as playing a 90 minute match.

“We are well aware that the boys are going to be struggling to get their second wind for the first half an hour of the game. It’s making sure we can set the team up in a way where, while we try to find our feet again, we are able to be competitive against Woking.

“I’m sure Woking will have had a game or two more than we would’ve had within this period. Although they may have had a Saturday which didn’t go ahead, they’ve probably had a few more games more frequently leading up to this game than we have had. However, we’re not going to use that as an excuse. We are focused on picking up where we left off.”

Morale has remained largely positive in the Magpies camp, says Peters, as he and the United coaching staff work hard to make training sessions as productive as possible for the team.

“We’re going week by week trying to keep spirits as high as possible,” said Peters.

“The boys are professional so they’re doing all they can and what we’re instructing them to do. We’re trying to make sessions as fun as possible for the boys while getting the intended targets out of them. When you look at pre season, you’re training knowing you’re going to start a season soon. But, where we are at this moment in time, games are getting postponed so frequently, we don’t actually know when we'll play next. We are just hopeful this weekend’s game comes along. We’ve been training well for it.”

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