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Momentum is key, says Tait
Building momentum again is key to Darlington's promotion attempt, believes key defender Joe Tait.
Quakers have recovered from losing back-to-back games for the first time this season by stringing together four undefeated matches to maintain their lead at the top of the Northern League table.
Their progress has been stunted, however, by four postponements and, with freezing temperatures forecast, Darlington are keeping their fingers crossed that Wednesday's game with Norton goes ahead.
Tait certainly hopes to play as Quakers aim to maintain their good form.
Last time out, a week ago at South Shields, he scored in a 3-0 win, a game that represented a third clean sheet in the past four fixtures, that have coincided with Mark Bell's arrival as goalkeeper.
"We always knew that if we stuck together that we'd get back to keeping clean sheets," said Tait, who teams up with Gary Brown at the heart of Darlington's defence.
"We'd been making individual mistakes, it wasn't as though we'd been getting broken down easily. Lads were making errors.
"Myself and Browny made a couple of errors, but me and Browny have got a got a good partnership and a good team spirit and Belly has restored a lot of confidence in the back four.
"Building momentum is key and so is consistency. We're a first-year team, the lads didn't even know each other not long ago so we were always bound to slip up sometimes.
"We've got an unbelievable backroom staff. With Martin Gray, Brian Atkinson and Sean Gregan behind us, we were always going to come good.
"But we've done nothing yet, we need to push on and keep going."
Tait has become a fixture in the side since joining shortly after the beginning of the season.
He added: "This is my first full season. I've played in America, but this is my first full season so it's great to be playing regularly and there's still a lot to come from me.
"I don't think I'm anywhere near my best yet, but playing next to someone like Browny brings the best out of you.
"The pitches aren't great, but if I'm honest I think that's all part of my development. It's a new experience that I've got to learn to deal with because it's not something I'm used to."
Brown, however, will serve a one-match ban on Wednesday after collecting five yellow cards.
The team spirit Tait referred to was strengthened on Saturday when, in the absence of a game, Gray organised a team bonding day.
Quad biking and clay pigeon shooting were among the activities, as was a session at Ward Degnan's Boxing Club in Darlington.
Argie Ward, coach at the club, was pleased to put the players through their paces.
"It was a good session and we're glad to be able to help out the club, it's good to do something like that for the community," he said.
"I think all the lads enjoyed it, even though it was probably tougher than they thought it was going to be.
"They were all laughing and joking before we started - we soon changed all that!"
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