Newbury Blues' Ryan Davis bursts forward against Swindon
NEWBURY Blues coach Lee Goodall praised the commitment of his players over the festive season.
Blues – and all the other clubs in South West 1 East – are unhappy with a shortened Christmas break that has given teams only one week off.
But Goodall revealed that his players have been training throughout the break to ensure they are fit and raring to go when they travel to High Wycombe on Saturday.
Goodall said: “It will be tough, but if you want to succeed then you’ve got to make a few sacrifices, like having a few beers on New Year’s Eve or training on New Year’s Day.
“We want to kickstart 2016 with a great away win.”
Blues are still in the promotion mix and are determined to mount a real challenge for the play-offs.
Wycombe are struggling in the division, and Blues have targetted victory.
Goodall said: “It is a chance to get a vital away win.
“This is certainly a game that we need to bag, although we will not be taking them lightly.”
Blues’ hopes have been hit by the unavailability of hooker Robbie Drysdale, while prop Graham Stewart will be out for at least six weeks after undergoing a hand operation just before Christmas.
Scrum-half Toby Thorne is also battling to overcome a quad injury, although Andy Herriott will return to give more options in the backs.
Blues trained on Tuesday night and will have a run-out tomorrow (Friday) to go through their game plan before the trip to Wycombe.
Goodall and a few of the first team also played in a friendly against Hungerford on Boxing Day.
But he said: “I played 15 minutes in the first half and 10 in the second, but that was it – I was finished!”