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FC United boss Marginson confident ahead of Robins clash

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FC United manager Karl Marginson says his team of league leaders has nothing to fear tonight as his side prepares to host fourth place Ilkeston in a promotion race six-pointer at the Tameside Stadium.

The match was due to be a top of the table clash, first versus second, until the Robins conceded an stoppage time equaliser at home to Grantham on Saturday and slipped one point behind Ashton United and Skelmersdale. Although the fixture no longer has top billing, it is no less important for the Reds.

A win would put FC United eight points ahead of the visitors with a game in hand but a defeat would narrow the gap to just two points. Perhaps more importantly, with nearest rivals Ashton United expecting a home win tonight against struggling Frickley Athletic, it is vital that we maintain our four-point lead.

Ilkeston are one of only three teams to have beaten Karl Marginson’s side in the Evo-Stik Premier Division this season – the others being Skelmesdale and Stourbridge. The Robins swept aside the Reds 3-1 at the New Manor Ground in October with Che Adams, now of Sheffield United, opening the scoring.

However, Marginson believes that result has very little relevance on tonight’s fixture. He said: “Ilkeston beat a very different FC United on that day. At that stage of the season, things weren’t going right for us, but we are a completely different team now. We have nothing to worry about against Ilkeston, if we play like we can, they should be worried about what we can do.”

The form book supports his comments. In October, United went into the game on the back of a run of two wins, one draw and two defeats. It’s a very different picture now as FC United have won nine and drawn one of their last ten league games whilst Ilkeston have won four, drawn five and lost one.

Margy hopes to be able to recall right-back Liam Brownhill, who was rested for Saturday’s 3-1 win over Kings Lynn due to a hamstring strain. Club captain Dean Stott is now suspended for two matches due to collecting ten yellow cards this season but fortunately his time off should coincide with the birth of his first child, who is due to enter the world this week. Dave Birch will regain the armband in Stott’s absence.

The visitors have absentees of their own - captain and central defender Joe Maguire is suspended while forward Rai Simons is away on international duty with Bermuda. Wing back Luke Shaw is hoping to recover in time from an ankle problem. Meanwhile, FC United may have to keep a close eye on the two Nottingham Forest loanees, Wilfried Gnahore and Edouard Schoenecker.

Source: www.fc-utd.co.uk

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