Tom Hannigan previews Brackley Town trip

Warrington Town defender Tom Hannigan insists the squad are capable of bouncing back quickly following a disappointing August bank holiday double-header.

The Yellows were beaten by Boston United and Curzon Ashton in the space of 72 hours, meaning they have now won three and lost three of their opening six league games

This Saturday they travel to Brackley Town – a side who, alongside Curzon, have yet to taste defeat so far this season. They also boast the tightest defence in the National League North, having shipped just three goals so far.

Hannigan started both games over the bank holiday weekend, and the 35-year-old admits the volume of football played might’ve caught up with a squad that has been decimated by injuries in the early weeks of the season.

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“With the disruptions so far to the playing squad for a number of reasons, I think we’d have taken nine points at this stage,” he said.

“The bank holiday weekend didn’t go to plan, but these things can happen, and with our squad stretched, it probably showed.

“Boston and Curzon are two good teams and punished us on the day. After winning three from four, we weren’t thinking we were going to take the league by storm, and equally losing two on the bounce doesn’t mean it’s time to panic.

“We’ll regroup this week. Bohan is back from suspension, which gives us a lift, and hopefully one or two more will be closer to fitness in the coming weeks.

“In terms of Saturday, Brackley are renowned for being play-off contenders season after season, but it’ll be another good test for us.

“We believe that if we perform to our capabilities, we can give any team a game in this division. If we take care of our performances and cut out the soft mistakes, there’s no reason why we can’t come back with a positive result.”

Photo credit: Sean Walsh

The Yellows backline has seen a number of changes in recent matches, with Dec Walker and Andy White stepping up their return to fitness.

However, they look set to be without Evan Gumbs – Hannigan’s centre-back partner for much of the 2022/23 promotion-winning season – as he waits to hear the extent of a suspected hernia injury.

Hannigan is pleased to see White return to the fold – the pair having formed a solid partnership during their time at Altrincham – and admits he is also excited to see his partnership with fellow experienced centre-back Peter Clarke develop in Gumbs’ absence.

“It’s a shame for Ev because he’s had no luck with injuries in the past, but hopefully this one isn’t too bad,” he said.

“Fingers crossed the scan doesn’t show anything major and he can get back fit and prove to everyone at this level how good he is.

“Clarkey has been brilliant since he has come in and fitted right into the squad like he’s been here for a couple of seasons.

“He’s naturally a bit different to Evan in his playing style, and over the coming weeks we’ll get to know each other’s games inside and out, and hopefully form a solid partnership.

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“I’m used to being the more senior partner at the back, helping the younger lads to come through and develop, but I don’t think I can teach Clarkey any new tricks!

“To the other side of me, Andy White is a miss when he’s not playing.

“Mitch is more than a capable stand-in at left-back and he’s done great, but Andy gives us that balance with him being left footed.

“I’ve played with him for six seasons now and I know his game inside out like he will know mine. Defensively, there’s no one better, and I would back him against any winger.”

Tom Hannigan is proudly sponsored by Tom, Nick & Lewis (home). His away sponsorship is still available.

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