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We're brimful of confidence - Preece

By This is Gloucestershire  |  Posted: April 07, 2009

Forest Green Rovers' dependable defender Mark Preece is confident of toppling another table topper this evening

Forest Green Rovers' dependable defender Mark Preece is confident of toppling another table topper this evening

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MARK PREECE is confident Forest Green can trip up another promotion-chasing side when Kidderminster Harriers come calling tonight (7.45pm).

The 21-year-old defender's outstanding form has contributed massively to Rovers' run of four straight wins in all competitions.

Victory this evening would virtually guarantee another season in the Blue Square Premier, and Preece is ready to take on all-comers after the stunning 1-0 triumph at second placed Cambridge United on Saturday.

"I think a result like that had been coming for a while, as we've not had much luck at some of the top sides and drawn a lot of games we should have won," he said.

"Kidderminster have been a bit of a surprise package, sneaking into the play-offs quite late, so it's definitely going to be a tough game.

"But the win on Saturday has taken a bit of pressure off and we're totally capable of getting another three points."

Viewed as a back-up player early in the season, the Bristolian has formed a dependable partnership with December signing Lee Ayres at the heart of the back four.

Ayres began his career at Kidderminster, while Preece had a trial at Aggborough before joining Rovers in the summer of 2006.

"Myself and Lee have had a run of games together and we've built up a nice understanding," said Preece.

"Stoney (Paul Stonehouse) has been different class at left-back and a few boys have had to fill in at right-back, including Smudger (Jonathan Smith), who did a great job at Cambridge.

"I missed the start of the season after a double hernia operation, so it was quite hard coming back from that, but my confidence is up now."

Tonight's game is the first of three in five days at the New Lawn, with the Setanta Shield final against Telford United to come on Thursday evening.

But Preece is relishing the fixture congestion, and admits the chance to bag a trophy is an extra incentive.

He said: "Five games in 10 days is going to take its toll, but I love playing and hopefully I'll be involved in all of them. A bit of silverware would be great for the club and would give everyone a confidence boost for next season."

Rovers are set to be unchanged tonight, with Alex Lawless still suffering a stomach bug.

FOREST GREEN (PROBABLE): T. Burton; J. Smith, M. Preece, L. Ayres, P. Stonehouse; P. Lloyd, D. Jones, L. Fowler, C. Platt; D. Brown; A. Mangan.

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