TOMMY WRIGHT is planning a weekend away day after admitting his Darlington players allowed their focus to slip as they slumped to a 2-0 defeat to Brackley Town on Wednesday.

The Quakers were well below-par as they were beaten at Blackwell Meadows, and Wright feels the nine-point gap separating his side from the National League North relegation zone has created a false sense of security.

It is hard to see Darlington being relegated with 11 games remaining, but with a promotion charge also off the agenda, Wright is adamant he will not allow his side to coast through the final two months of the season.

“I think they’ve come across a situation where they watched Ashton get beat (on Tuesday night), they read social media, and they see a gap of nine points (to the bottom three),” said the Quakers boss. “They see that gap with 12 games to go (before Wednesday), and I do think a bit of that has crept in.

“With 12 games to go, it would take a really big dip in results (to be relegated), and I think they’ve looked at the week and thought, ‘Get this game out of the way and we’ve got a weekend off here’. I think they’ve taken their foot off the pedal.

“They can’t do that. Terry (Galbraith), the captain, was missing, and I get that to a certain extent, but his absence doesn’t explain why we looked like strangers.”

Darlington do not have a game this weekend as their scheduled opponents, AFC Telford, travel to Solihull Moors in the quarter-finals of the FA Trophy.

Wright will gather his squad together tomorrow, but rather than putting them through their paces on the training ground, he plans to take them away from football in an attempt to clear some minds.

“I’ll learn a bit about them from how they react next Saturday,” said Wright. “This one has gone now, I don’t dwell on it, but we’ll pick it up on Saturday.

“We’ll maybe go and have a day out somewhere. I just want to take them away from football. A bit of a change of scenery might help. I think the lads need it. Go away from the football pitch, let the knocks heal and then regroup. We’ve got Tuesday and Thursday to prepare for next Saturday.”

Wright was able to elicit precious few positives from Wednesday’s display, but the second-half performance of substitute Wilson Kneeshaw provided a rare bright note.

Kneeshaw has returned to Darlington for a second spell after a stint with USL Championship side Sacramento Republic, and has almost certainly done enough to secure a starting spot when Darlington return to action with a home game against league leaders Chorley in eight days’ time.

“That’s probably the only positive of the evening, the fact that he built on what he did on Saturday,” said Wright. “He was positive, he was lively and he showed some lovely touches.

“He did himself justice and he will probably be one of a very few that will go into next week thinking I’m a shoo-in to start a week on Saturday.”