FOREST Green’s players have been told to tone down their challenges to avoid further disciplinary problems.
The red card shown to Paul Green in Saturday’s 1-0 loss at FC Halifax Town was the eighth the club have collected in all competitions this term – although Dale Bennett’s dismissal at Welling United in September was later rescinded.
Assistant manager Dave Kevan has seen his side reduced to 10 men in two of their last three matches, with Danny Wright forced into an early bath at Chorley in the FA Trophy.
And while he refutes any suggestion Ady Pennock’s troops are overly physical in their approach, Kevan admits lessons need to be learned.
Kevan said: “Once you go to ground you’ve got to be certain you make contact with the ball and nothing else.
“To be fair to Paul Green, I don’t think he made contact with anything and it probably looked worse than it was.
“But the message is drummed into the players loud and clear to be careful, and it just so happens that we’ve picked up two red cards in three games.
“I don’t think it’s a major issue but it goes without saying that we’re making life harder for ourselves.”
Aldershot Town visit the New Lawn on Boxing Day (3pm), the second of five fixtures over the holiday season that could define whether 13th-placed Rovers can clamber back in the Skrill Premier play-offs mix.
Kevan is enjoying the hectic schedule, despite a winless run of three matches that has punctured the early optimism of Pennock’s tenure.
“As far as we’re concerned we feel we’re not quite where we would like to be, and some results have papered over the cracks as far as we’re concerned,” Kevan said. “We feel we can play better, we need to play better and the results need to be better.
“You want the games coming thick and fast because you always find out more about the players. We’re still learning about them and they’re still learning about us.
“We look forward to the games, and in between we try to get as much work done and prepare the team properly.”
Green’s indiscretion at The Shay means he is suspended for the clash with the Shots, paving the way for Al Bangura to return to the Forest Green midfield.
And it will be a stern test against Aldershot, who were hit with a 15-point deduction at the start of the campaign for entering administration but thumped Tamworth 6-0 last time out to climb out of the relegation zone.
Meanwhile Rovers have confirmed that their home match against Hereford United in the Skrill Premier has been brought forward to Thursday, January 9.
Originally scheduled for the following Saturday, the game at the New Lawn has been switched to be broadcast live on BT Sport and will kick-off at 7.30pm. BT Sport will also be showing the reverse fixture between the two clubs at Edgar Street this Saturday, December 28. Again the kick-off time is 7.30pm.