“We’re not finished yet,” insists Braintree Town boss Danny Cowley ahead of play-off clash with Grimsby

Braintree Town Football v Altrincham in Vanarama National league 3-0
Manager Danny Cowley

Braintree Town Football v Altrincham in Vanarama National league 3-0 Manager Danny Cowley

A place in the National League play-offs is only part of the Braintree Town story, with manager Danny Cowley insisting “we’re not finished yet.”

The Iron set-up a two-legged tie with Grimsby as their 3-0 win over Altrincham on Saturday saw them finish third in the table, with the first leg in Cleethorpes on Thursday night and the return in Essex on Sunday.

While a third-placed finish in a division packed with full-time clubs with Football League histories may be a fairytale in itself, for part-time Braintree, Cowley insisted a spot in the play-offs is only the beginning as they battle for promotion to League Two.

“This is only part of the journey, we’re not finished yet,” he said.

“We may be Braintree Town and people may think our season is all about getting in the play-offs, but as far as I’m concerned getting in the play-offs only gives you an opportunity.

“We know how tough it will be because Grimsby are a great club, a great team and have fantastic management. They’ve been there before which will only help in terms of their experience but we have no pressure on us.

“We’ll dust ourselves off and be in on Monday, we have to use that day intelligently and do some work ahead of Thursday.”

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Cowley and his brother Nicky, his assistant manager, will spend the coming days formulating a plan to beat a club who were playing at Championship level a little over a decade ago, with the Braintree boss hoping his side’s dream run isn’t over yet.

“At this moment I couldn’t tell you how we approach the semi-final because I haven’t got that far in this dream,” he said.

“That dream kind of ended when we got into the play-offs so I haven’t seen that bit, hopefully I’ll see the next bit in my sleep and then we can recreate it.

“It will be the first time we’ve been involved in a two-legged affair so that will be a challenge.

“When we first came here we thought we could add value and be successful, but the players with their level of determination and work rate and effort has been phenomenal.

“I don’t have the words to tell you how proud I am of the group.”

“As a group we don’t know how to lose so we’ll be ready to give a good show of ourselves.”

Braintree went into the weekend’s game fifth in the table, with their move up to third meaning they will play away in the first leg and at home in the second, which presents PE teacher Cowley with a bit of a challenge.

He said: “I need to get some time off work.

“I’d not really thought of that because I’d expected us to be at home in midweek and away at the weekend.

“Hopefully I can get the afternoon off.”

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