Reds return to action on Boxing Day looking to complete their first double of the season at Cambridge United.
Head Coach Gabriele Cioffi is looking forward to a quick opportunity to make amends for Saturday’s 3-2 home loss against Carlisle United and kick-start the season.
And he says hard work and a collective commitment by the players is the only to improve on a disappointing run of form.
“I don’t think our results recently have necessarily reflected our performances,” he said. “But at the end of the day the only thing we are judged on is results – and they haven’t been what we want recently.
“So we have to be together, to believe in what we’re trying to achieve as a group in the knowledge that if we maintain the belief in our philosophy then results will come. We have to sure of this.”
Jimmy Smith, Lewis Young, Ollie Palmer and Filipe Morais are all missing through injury or, in Palmer’s case, suspension but the boss has said there is a chance Morais may be involved in one of the holiday fixtures as he steps up his recovery after a hand surgery.
The players trained on Christmas Eve but will be with their families on Christmas Day, prior to travelling to Cambridge in the evening ahead of the 1pm kick off on Boxing Day.
“The players know that at this time of the year they have to make the sacrifice but I think it’s important they have Christmas Day with their families – the family is the most important thing in their lives,” added Gaby.
“But we trained well today (Christmas Eve) and we are focussed now on Cambridge.
“When we played them at home it wasn’t until we scored our first goal that we had control in the match. They are a good side and obviously they are under a new manager at home for the first time – a bit like Macclesfield in fact.
“So, a tough opponent. But I was happy with a lot of the performance on Saturday. I don’t think we deserved to lose but it happened and the only people who can get us a good result on Boxing Day are ourselves. If we can do that then we can build on it for the next game and so on.”