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Guiseley boss raring to go again after his team's weekend break
Manager Mark Bower can’t wait for his Guiseley side to get back in action.
The Lions have been without a game since winning 3-1 at North Ferriby on October 22.
But they now have two in three days and both are at Nethermoor.
They face Barrow in Skrill North on Saturday and follow it with a West Riding County Cup tie against Ossett Town on Tuesday.
With key defender Danny Ellis now the only player on the injured list, Bower is keen to build on the momentum gained from the 1-1 draw with Histon and the win at North Ferriby.
He said: “We would have liked to have played last Saturday but we are now realising what it is like to be knocked out of the FA Cup early.
“It would have been good to play after such a good performance at North Ferriby.
“The players are in good shape and keen to get going again.”
Bower kept himself busy during the enforced break from action. He used last weekend to watch future opponents Stalybridge and Leaming- ton play.
He also secured agreement with Bradford City to extend the loan of young striker Louie Swain by a further two months.
It means he will be with the club up to December 26 and the Nethermoor boss has been pleased with Swain’s attitude.
“He came at a difficult time but has fitted in well,” said Bower.
“He has done well for us and has worked hard on his game.
“It hasn’t helped that during his initial one-month loan that we had two weekends without a game.
“Now we have a busier programme ahead and that means he should have the chance to get more games under his belt.”
Bower will be hoping that Swain and Alex Johnson, a recent recruit from Halifax Town, will be able to improve the team’s goal output.
The return after suspension of Gavin Rothery at North Ferriby also boosted the side.
“Because of the breaks we had it seemed as if his suspension was never going to end,” added Bower.
“He is a player who has a lot of skill and fits in nicely with the type of game we like to play.”
Guiseley are expecting a tough test against Barrow, a side who knocked them out of the FA Cup at the first round stage last year.
The Cumbrian side were relegated at the end of last season and, like Guiseley, are looking to improve on a mid-table position.
“I am sure they will be very competitive. Last year’s FA Cup tie, which they won in a replay, was extremely close fought.
“I am not expecting any different this time. I just hope we can build on our recent results,” Bower said.
Guiseley’s early elimination from this season’s FA Cup and their poor league position means that the West Riding County Cup takes on added significance.
The Lions, who won the competition in 2011 and 2012 before losing to Halifax in this year’s final, want to do well again.
Bower said: “I recent seasons it has been an extra competition to fit into a crowded fixture list, that isn’t the situation this time.
“This is an opportunity to work on certain things and perhaps give some of our fringe players a chance to show what they can do.”
Bower will not be calling on any of the club’s promising academy play- ers for the Ossett game.
They are playing Bury in the FA Youth Cup on Wednesday night so the Guiseley chief will rely solely on his senior players.
“If we progress they may get a chance later on, but the important thing right now is their FA Youth Cup tie.
“They have done tremendous to reach the first round proper and it will be a real achievement if they can win away to a Football League club like Bury and progress still further in the competition,” he said.
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