Aylesbury boss Dave Larham says his side have be ready for a real challenge if they are to maintain their title tilt at Alchester today (Saturday).
The Magenta and Blacks go into today’s game off the back of a perfect 10-game winning run but face a difficult trip to Alchester in their bid to make it 11th heaven.
And Larham admits his players must prepare in the right way.
“We will have to ensure that we are physically and mentally up for the challenge,” Larham said.
His words come after a rocky start against Milton Keynes last time out. In an open first half Milton Keynes gave as good as they got and threatened to bring Aylesbury’s brilliant nine-game winning run to an end.
But Larham got stuck into his troops as half-time and a much improved display saw the Ducks win 21-12 to remain hot on the heels of Southern Counties North leaders Bletchley, who they trail by three points.
“We had to work hard to win and maintain our promotion challenge,” Larham admitted.
“I was disappointed with our physicality and defensive accuracy in the first half and called for a huge improvement in the second half.
“The boys stepped up and dominated the majority of second half possession and reduced the physical threat of a good MK team.”
Larham said: “While we were pleased with the win and some aspects of our performance, we have to reflect that we cannot allow teams to set the tempo and intensity of the opening exchanges.”
With leaders Bletchley also failing to get a bonus point from their own narrow 20-19 win over Stow on the Wold last weekend it means should Ay’s beat Alchester with a bonus point and Bletchley fail to secure a similar result against Thatcham, the Ducks will go top of the league heading into the Christmas break.