03:00PM, Friday 08 February 2019
Resilience is the word for Ryan Upward as the midfielder sets his sights on helping the Magpies move away from the National League relegation zone.
The 26-year-old has had to show some resolve of his own this season after he picked up an Achilles strain in September which ruled him out for three months.
But with back-to-back starts against Solihull Moors and Wrexham under his belt, he is now hoping to make the difference as the Magpies embark on a crucial month of fixtures.
He told the Advertiser: “It’s been frustrating watching from the sidelines but now I’m back I’m hoping I can help the team get back to where we want to be and I don’t think relegation should even be talked about.
“It has been a very stop-start season but I’m happy to be back and I’m feeling like I’m 70 per cent there.”
The Magpies saw their game at home to Dagenham and Redbridge postponed last week due to the wintry conditions.
On Saturday they welcome a Boreham Wood side who currently sit in mid-table obscurity, a position Alan Devonshire would surely envy.
And Upward said the squad need to rediscover the form that made them such a force at York Road over the last two seasons.
He said: “York Road used to be a fortress but this season things haven’t quite panned out that way.
“Last year the adrenalin got us through, even if we went behind, but that has gone away a bit.”
He added: “The positive to take from the Wrexham game is that we didn’t play well at all and still only lost 1-0.
“Earlier on in the season we started games well but then we were still on the end of heavy defeats against the likes of AFC Fylde and Havant and Waterlooville.
“We realise that we need to be a lot more resilient.”
The Magpies lost 3-1 in the return fixture against Boreham Wood back in October, a game which Upward had to watch from the sidelines.
He said the players are preparing for a physical challenge from Luke Garrard’s side.
“From what I remember they are a very physical side and are dangerous from set-pieces,” Upward said.
“We know what they are about but they will be vulnerable and hopefully we can get down the side of them and get some crosses in.
“There’s a long way to go and nobody is worried about anything.
“We just need to keep getting results and see where we are in a month’s time.”
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