Hughes hoping Centurions can signal their promotion intent against rivals
CIRENCESTER Town travel to Wimborne tomorrow for the start of a three-match run that will be an acid test of their promotion credentials.
Prior to their trip to basement club Yate Town on October 20, Brian Hughes' Centurions side face three games against teams pushing for the top five spots in Evo-Stik League Southern Division One South and West.
Currently third in the table, Cirencester travel to fifth-placed Wimborne tomorrow (3pm) before hosting Evesham United, who are fourth, on Tuesday night.
A home game against big-spending Hungerford completes the run and Hughes admitted more will be known about his side's promotion hopes in two weeks' time.
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"We will certainly have more of an idea about where we are after the next three games," Hughes said.
"It's not going to be season-defining yet, but you would like to think that if we can get something from those games, then we will be in a decent position.
"If you can compete with the likes of Wimborne, Evesham and Hungerford then I would like to think you won't be a million miles away from challenging."
Cirencester were without a game last weekend due to their early exit from both the FA Cup and FA Trophy, but they warmed-up for tomorrow's trip to Dorset with a 3-1 County Cup success against Shortwood United on Tuesday night.
Goals from Nathan Hawkins, Sam Collier and James Mortimer-Jones sealed the win for Cirencester after James Singh had given Wood an early lead.
Hughes gave a debut to former Swindon Town midfielder Chris Taylor against Shortwood and he could be pressed into league action tomorrow.
He also hopes to have veteran defender Chris Thompson available after injury, but goalkeeper Matt Bath and captain Matt Sysum are struggling with groin injuries.
Bath, who returned to the club in the summer after a year away from football, is having chiropractic treatment in a bid to rid himself of the problem and should make the trip to Dorset.
"Matt's been bothered by his groin problem for a while now and we think it is linked to his back, so he's having treatment to try and sort it," Hughes said.
"Matt Sysum is also struggling and we'll have to wait and see how he pulls up after training last night before we make a decision."