THE basics of defending will dominate Bracknell Town's training sessions for the second week running, writes Dave Wright.

And manager Mark Tallentire is hoping lessons will be learned ahead of this Saturday's tough game with table-topping Hanwell at Larges Lane (3pm).

The Robins have conceded 14 goals in their last three Isthmian League South Central Division games, with Tallentire describing their performances as being "below expectations."

Several players are also lacking in confidence following three successive league defeats, the latest being a 4-2 loss at South Park last weekend.

Tallentire and coach Geoff Warner were particularly disappointed with the way the Robins defended against South Park, although they were not helped by the absence of central defender Dan Bayliss due to a hamstring problem he picked up in training last Thursday.

Tallentire, who is still without injured right-backs Dave Hancock and Geoff Kibaki, added: "We worked hard in our two training sessions last week on basic principles of defending and felt we were well prepared for the game, yet, we still looked nervous and fragile at the back.

"We rallied at half-time (from 2-0 down) and had a go at them, and after Nathan (Minhas) had scored early on, we were clearly the dominant team for 15 to 20 minutes. If we had scored during that spell, the end result might have been a little different.

"For a time, we played like I expected the team to perform. But then out of the blue, we conceded another goal and that knocked the wind out of our sails. It was so preventable, as it was one of theirs against three of ours.

"It was a game-changer and our heads dropped a little bit. As for their fourth goal, the less said about it the better."

The manager continued: "Things aren't going our way at the moment and it is important we all stick together to get through this bad patch."

One player who is in good form, however, is Minhas. He has scored in four successive league games, and his total of 13 league goals is the highest in the division, one ahead of Hanwell striker Gareth Chendlik, although five of his 12 goals have come from the penalty spot.

Tallentire said he is really pleased with the hot-shot, adding: "We have got him playing in a more focussed role down the middle, so he hasn't the responsibilities of having to go out wide.

"He is doing the business, scoring goals in a team that is lacking confidence and that shows his quality."

New signing Nebay Haile is set to make his home debut on Saturday following the striker's transfer from league rivals Tooting & Mitcham last week.

"He is a good young player. He put in a lot of effort at South Park and you could see he badly wanted to impress," commented the manager.

Hanwell come to Larges Lane with an impressive record. They have lost only one of their 16 league games and are unbeaten on their travels with four wins and four draws.

They did, however, lose 2-0 at Bracknell in a Velocity Trophy group game in December with Dan Carr and Minhas on target.

* Joe Gater, who left Larges Lane last week, has joined former Robins teammates Adam Cornell and Joe Grant at Southern League Premier South side Hartley Wintney. All three played in last Saturday's 5-1 home defeat by Hayes & Yeading.