MANAGER Simon Weaver is backing Harrogate Town to hold their nerve in a critical four-match spell in their National League North season.
Harrogate warmed up for a key quartet of matches against fellow promotion aspirants Spennymoor, Brackley Town, Blyth Spartans and York City with a 2-0 win over relegation-haunted Gainsborough on Saturday on an afternoon when the visitors handed the hosts some scares in front of a crowd of over 1,100.
Manager Weaver said: “You can sense the excitement and anticipation before every home game. But also, when there is that much at stake, you sense it in the crowd too and we all want it that much.
“It is important we hold our nerve and are not overcome by any nerves. There are always going to be moments in a game, especially on a surface like this, where they will be some quick passing play where the ’keeper is called upon.
“But we have got big players in important slots and positions. We would like to think we have key players who will stand up and be strong in key moments and it is so far, so good.
“It is a massive four games coming up in a small space of time.”
Weaver admits that he is also consoled by the knowledge that his squad options at this stage of the season are decidedly healthy, with his resources likely to be utilised in a pivotal point of the season.
Saturday saw Weaver make just one change with experienced former Leeds United defender Ben Parker returning to the starting line-up. Harrogate’s chief was also blessed with some significant options on the bench, including young striker Jake Wright, on loan from Sheffield United.
Weaver added: “In previous years we probably have not been quite as strong on the bench. Bringing in people like Ben Parker helps you and Dominic Knowles was outstanding, but we were able to rest him for the last 20 minutes to get Jake Wright on.
“We did not weaken the effort and ability out there.”