Braintree Town must look inwards over fixture backlog - Strudwick

Alan Devonshire

Conference chief Dennis Strudwick has told Braintree Town to ask questions of themselves amid a fixture pile-up.

The Iron have 18 Conference Premier games to play in the remaining seven weeks of the season.

"I cannot put my first team out for some of these games. It's impossible," boss Alan Devonshire told BBC Essex.

Football Conference general manager Strudwick said: "You have to look inwards for these solutions and not look outwards and blame other people."

He added: "Braintree have lost eight matches through an unfit pitch. That's an awful lot. I've got 17 clubs this season that haven't lost a home match through bad weather."

Braintree are 16th in the Conference Premier, nine points below the play-offs and 12 points above the relegation zone, and have up to seven games in hand on other sides.

The club, whose Amlin Stadium pitch has drainage issues, face the prospect of playing on a Saturday, Tuesday and Thursday on three occasions between now and the end of the season.

"As long as the league knows that I'm going to have to put the youth team out for one or two games," added Devonshire, speaking after Saturday's 2-1 win over Hyde.

"How can they ask us to play Saturday, Tuesday and Thursday three weeks on the trot? I'm sure if it were Luton or Grimsby it wouldn't be happening."

Strudwick said Braintree could have played a fixture this midweek, but opted not to apply, although Devonshire added that no teams would agree to play them.

"Grimsby have got fixture problems, but not always because of an unfit pitch," said Strudwick.

"They're playing and they're getting their fixtures in."

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