Harding backs player-manager Quinton

BRAINTREE Town chairman Lee Harding has backed his new caretaker manager to steady the ship following the departure of Lee Patterson this week.

Stuart Watson

Harding backs player-manager Quinton

By Stuart Watson

BRAINTREE Town chairman Lee Harding has backed his new caretaker manager to steady the ship following the departure of Lee Patterson this week.

Captain Bradley Quinton has long been the heartbeat of the Essex side's team having made nearly 400 appearances in central midfield for the Cressing Road club.

And now he will have to use his leadership skills off the pitch as well as on it after he was put in temporary charge of the Blue Square South side on Thursday.

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Harding said: “Brad is one of the few players where if you cut open his veins you would see the yellow of Braintree pumping through. He knows the dressing room inside out and I know we will always get a committed and organised side out of him.”

Quinton has been caretaker boss of Braintree before, successfully sharing duties with current youth team manager Tom Marshall for a brief period after George Borg's departure last season.

“If he wins the next 10 games then he might still get the job permanently,” said Harding. “Long-term I have always viewed Brad as a future manager of this club, but the player-manager's role is a demanding one and he still has a lot to give as a player at the moment.”

Braintree, who are 15th in the league, host fifth-placed St Albans City today following their humiliating FA Trophy defeat to Farnborough on Tuesday night.

Iron had lead 2-1 with 20 minutes to play before conceding five times against the Southern League Premier Division leaders.

That result signalled the second time that Braintree - who have finished in the play-off positions for the last two seasons - have gone out of cup competitions to lower league opponents this season.

Three points is all Chelmsford will be looking for from one of their longest journeys of the campaign against former Southern League rivals Worcester City at St. George's Lane, Head Coach Glenn Pennyfather revealing the squad can't wait to get out onto the pitch.

City knocked Blue Square Premier side Grays Athletic out of the Setanta Shield 4-2 away from home in midweek to banish the memories of their previous two defeats on the trot, and Pennyfather has spoken of the desire to turn matches into points: “The players have various ways of passing the time on an away journey like this one. Some play cards together and some watch films, while others prefer to listen to music. There are always plenty of magazines to read but for the whole trip the lads just want to get off the coach and start playing.”

Defenders Ian Cousins and Andy Duncan will have late fitness tests to see if they're available for selection, but otherwise Pennyfather believes the Management Team have almost a full squad to select from.

In the Ryman League Premier Division, rock-bottom Heybridge Swifts host fifth-placed Canvey Island, while in Division One North Maldon Town visit Concord Rangers, while Witham Town welcome Brentwood Town.

In the Ridgeons League Premier Division, new look Wivenhoe Town face a tough trip to second place Dereham Town after even more of their players were released from contracts this season.

Elsewhere, Harwich & Parkeston host Haverhill Rovers, Stanway Rover travel to in-form Leiston, while Tiptree United welcome CRC.

In Division One, FC Clacton and Halstead Town host Downham Town and Stowmarket Town respectively.

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