KRIS JONES is predicting Sleaford Town are about to benefit from some seasonal cheer.
The Town boss believes his side is nicely poised to move up the table over the festive season after putting behind them, what on paper at least, appear to be their toughest run of fixtures.
On Saturday, Jones leads his side in their United Counties League Premier Division clash away at Long Buckby. A fixture Jones stressed is a very important one for his side.
"Long Buckby are just above us in the table but have played more games," said Jones.
"It is a very important game for us because we need to be picking up points against teams around us.
"When we played them at home, we were coasting at 3-2 and looking good for all three points.
"But we made a defensive mistake and they scored an equaliser. It was very frustrating.
"We will go there with a full squad and we have tightened up dramatically since we played them last, so we should be confident of getting something from the game."
Jones's side were defeated 2-0 at AFC Kempston Rovers last Saturday, however, the Town boss says suspensions, unavailability and injuries restricted his team selection.
Such was the extent of Jones's problems, he was forced into making three signings ahead of the game and both himself and veteran striker Jamie Shaw were pencilled in.
"We were down to a bare 11 and that was with myself in the team," said Jones.
"We had to bring a few players in which meant the whole of the back five were new so it was always going to be tough for us.
"As it was, their first goal came about after some bad luck on our part.
"Our keeper came and punched the ball out, it hit the back of our defender's head and went back over him into the goal.
"Then, they got a penalty just after half-time, so we just have to put that one down to experience.
"The trip to Long Buckby will be different. We should be back to a full squad and, looking ahead, we should be capable of picking up points in December and January.
"If we have our players back and we play to our best, I am confident our results will improve over the next few weeks."
Sleaford were due to meet Huntingdon last night for the first time since both sides were thrown out of the FA Cup after a mass brawl.