A COUPLE of wins have bolstered belief at Darlington, instilling confidence that they can haul themselves away from danger at the wrong end of the table.

Two wins out of two and four unbeaten games for the first time since August has seen Quakers rise to 15th, their highest position since mid-November.

They remain in a relegation dogfight, manager Tommy Wright is quick to point out, however, wary of anyone becoming relaxed about the club’s plight.

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Ahead of today’s game at seventh-top Bradford Park Avenue, the first of two Saturdays in a row away to teams in the play-off places, Quakers are only three points above the drop zone, with most of the sides beneath them having games in hand.

Last weekend Darlington defeated Blyth Spartans, a fully-deserved 3-0 victory, and Wright said: “We’ve got to build on Saturday now. It’s back-to-back wins for the first time since August.

“We need to build on this against a team going for the play-offs, go into it full of confidence and try to get three points.

“We’ve clawed our way out of that relegation zone, but we’re not out of the woods yet.”

Next weekend Quakers travel to Brackley, who are third and have not lost a home league game this season, and the following weekend fourth-placed Kidderminster Harriers head to Blackwell Meadows.

Wright added: “We’ve got three back-to-back games against play-off teams, two away one at home. The lads need to approach the games with respect because those teams are up there for a reason, but we’ve proven over the last few weeks that we can compete with anybody.

“We’re not focused on the Kidderminster game yet, we’re focused on Bradford, then we’ve got Brackley. Let’s get part one out of the way, because we’re still in a dogfight.

“We have turned a corner but we’re not out of the woods.

“The lads are switched on. They know that we’re still in it, but those wins have done them the world of good.

“They’re probably playing with a little bit more confidence, a bit more freedom and I think it’s starting to show because thy expressed themselves really well last Saturday."

Wright may be without James Caton as the winger will have a fitness test after sustaining a hamstring strain last Saturday.

Caton wore a protective face mask against Blyth having suffered a possible broken nose in training following an accidental clash of heads with Dale Milburn.

Wright has a decision to make in goal. James Talbot is available again, the goalkeeper having completed a three-match ban after being dismissed at Alfreton, but in the meantime Aynsley Pears has done little wrong, and made a couple of excellent saves last Saturday when Quakers kept their first clean sheet since September.

At the other end of the field Stephen Thompson reached a landmark, his goal in first-half added time was his 80th for the club.

It was a penalty, Thompson having reclaimed spot-kick duties from Reece Styche, and Wright said: “He’s now on penalties and I think he’s determined to keep them.

“It’s about more than goals for me; it’s the performance side of things, the work ethic and he’s determined to keep it.

“He’s been a revelation for since I walked through the door and hopefully he will continue to be so for a lot longer.”

Bradford, managed by Mark Bower, moved above Blyth into seventh on Monday with a 5-0 win over Gainsborough Trinity.

They were in the lower half of the table in October when they lost 2-1 at Blackwell Meadows, which was Quakers’ final game with Phil Turnbull and Gary Brown at the helm before Wright and assistant manager Alan White took charge.

Bower, who played for Darlington in 2009-10, said: “Having forced our way back in to the play off places we want to stay there, but to do that we must make sure we approach the game in the same way we approached Monday night.

“Darlington are in good form themselves, are unbeaten in four and have won their last two including a 3-0 win over Blyth last weekend.

“In Tommy Wright they have a manager who likes his team to play with no fear and attack the opposition, so the game should be quite open and hopefully a decent spectacle.”