QUAKERS were encouraged by their display on Tuesday and there is more to come, believes manager Tommy Wright, though he admits he is yet to settle on a favoured first-choice XI.

Having lost 2-1 to Curzon Ashton seven days ago, Darlington were on the verge of victory on Tuesday after a much better performance at Spennymoor Town, only to concede late equaliser.

Nonetheless, the 2-2 draw left supporters feeling more enthusiastic about their team, which it could be said is still finding its feet after a summer of change.

Seven players signed and 13 left – including James Caton, who this week joined Warrington Town on loan for a month – and there are places to play for, admits Wright.

“I think if you did a poll among supporters for our best team and system, I don’t think would get a clear winner,” said the manager, whose team travel to Brackley Town today. “There’s a lot of arguments for a lot of different players.

“We had really good substitutes on Tuesday, Liam Hughes was not available, Jonny Burn has been injured, so right now I don’t think our team picks itself anymore.

“We had two exciting wingers, the bench is getting stronger and stronger.

“I don’t want to be chopping and changing for the sake of it. If the lads earn the shirt then they keep it. It’s nice to have healthy competition, when lads are looking over their shoulder thinking ‘I could get subbed here’.

“That’s what I want, I want that pressure on the boys, they’ve got to perform. Complacency won’t be tolerated and if they aren’t producing they’ll come out of the team.”

Tuesday saw Wright switch to 4-4-2, a system that Quakers’ personnel seemed more comfortable with, particularly central midfield player Joe Wheatley, whose ability to pick out a pass came to the fore, while attacking right-back Luke Trotman shone.

The due combined to set-up Reece Styche for the best goal of the night on Tuesday, a passing moving finished calmly by the striker to make it 2-1.

Wright added: “It’s nice when the work on the training ground pays off, that little passage of play. We do that in small-sided games and that is our movement pattern, so I was delighted to see it come off.

“The lads can play football, we know that, and I think we will grow as a team we will get better.

“I think everyone knows we can play football, at the minute it’s keeping the ball out of the back of our net that people are going to point fingers at.

“We’ve got plenty to work on. We walked away from Tuesday proud of our performance but disappointed with the result.”

Quakers have conceded twice in each of their two games, but they can take solace from the improved showing on Tuesday.

Wright said: “Last Saturday we went with 4-3-3, a shape and personnel that we were comfortable and for 25 minutes them tactics and after that we switched off. Unfortunately 25 minutes isn’t going to wash.

“Ultimately, whatever system we pick and whichever players we pick, we do it because we expect to win.

“Tuesday was better, everyone seemed to know their job, so it was a job well done by the players. We put on a performance and I think the fans will have gone away thinking that the lads really grafted.”

There will be at least one change today as Ben O’Hanlon serves a one-match ban after being sent off last Saturday. Terry Galbraith could cover, but much depends on whether centre-back Burn is available.

He has had a back problem since the pre-season friendly with Middlesbrough, but underwent a scan this week which indicated no serious injury, and a decision on whether he can play will be made today.

Hughes available again after missing out on Tuesday for personal reasons.

Brackley beat Darlington 3-0 home and away last season and finished third, losing in the play-offs to Harrogate Town but they did win at Wembley in the final of the FA Trophy.

They have this week completed the signing of 21-year-old striker Giorgio Rasulo, who came through the ranks at Milton Keynes, and former Northampton Town forward Leon Lobjoitl.

And in the summer they added Gregg Smith, a physical striker who has played against Darlington in recent seasons for Stamford and Boston United.

“Brackley are a good side,” added Wright. “They lost in the play-offs but won the FA Trophy. They’ve lost a couple of players, but he will have them well-drilled and they will fancy their chances.”