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Three points for Forest Green is the only birthday present Ady Pennock wants

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: March 26, 2014

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Victory at Southport in front of live BT Sport cameras tomorrrow evening would perfectly cap Ady Pennock’s birthday celebrations.

The Forest Green Rovers boss celebrates turning 43 today as he takes his side to a Sandgrounders team who have earned a reputation for having turned their Haig Avenue home into a fortress this season.

Their opponents are steadily edging away from the Skrill Premier drop zone with former Accrington Stanley and Rochdale boss John Coleman at the helm.

Thirty-four of their 42 points have come on home soil and Pennock is anticipating facing a solid Southport side who he feels are strong enough to avoid the drop this season.

“They are very strong at home,” he said. “Their away form hasn’t been brilliant but it will be a very tough game.

“It’s in front of the cameras and they’re fighting at the moment but I think they’ll be fine.

“We’ve been playing well and it is a good opportunity. I’m not worried about showing people what we can do as long as we grind out result.”

It was confirmed on Monday that January addition Jason Walker would stay on loan with tonight’s opponents until the end of the season.

The former York City striker has made only two brief substitute appearances for Rovers but is unavailable to face his parent club as part of the two clubs’ agreement.

“It has a lot to do with competition for places. We have lads who are already performing,” Pennock said.

“If he came back to us there is a chance he wouldn’t be getting as much of a game as he is at Southport. We have a 24 hour recall on him.”

Yan Klukowski is in contention to return after two days of training while Luke Oliver could return from his hamstring problem.

Pennock has confirmed, however, that Marcus Kelly is likely to be out for up to four weeks after he limped off against Welling at the weekend.

His charges will look to brandish their talents in front of a live television audience once again this evening with just a month left in the campaign.

“If I thought we could have been in this position when I took over then I would have bitten your hand off,” Pennock added.

“There are nine games to go and it is all about us and results. If we keep on picking up points then we’ll have a chance. We’ve put ourselves in the mix.”

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