Oldham: We're facing crucial stage of season
GERRY Oldham says the next month can define Cheltenham Saracens' season.
With their last two fixtures falling victim to the wet weather, manager Oldham is hopeful tomorrow's trip to struggling Abingdon Town will go ahead.
They play promotion-chasing Slimbridge at home on Boxing Day before tackling Reading Town on January 5.
They have won their last two Hellenic League matches, with leading scorer Ethan Moore (pictured) firing in four goals in the 4-3 victory at Flackwell Heath on December 8.
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Oldham is targeting a top-six finish and he is also keen to reach at least one final of the three knockout competitions Saracens are still involved in.
He believes the attitude of the players will be all-important.
"I think the next four or five games will shape the rest of our season," Oldham said.
"At the end of January we'll have a pretty good idea of how our season is shaping up, both in the league and the cups."
Saracens are in the quarter-finals of both the Hellenic League Cup and the County Cup.
They are due to play Highworth in the last 16 of the Floodlit Cup, but the tie has been postponed twice.
"We have a lot of games coming up, so I need as many players fit and available," Oldham said.
"It's all about how badly they want it now I think and if they show enough desire we can achieve something this season."
Saracens trained at Hartpury College last night in preparation for tomorrow's game, but Oldham said it was a light session.
"We have a few players out and a few have niggles, but I am sure every club is the same at this stage of a season," he said.
"I don't like to moan about injuries because I trust the players who step in when others aren't available and that's why it's so important to have a squad, rather than just a team."
Sam Slender and Joe Donaghue remain injury doubts, while long-term absentees Pat Sayce and Jack Oldham are definitely out.