Braintree Town midfielder Dan Sparkes feels the Iron can have a stronger push for the Vanarama Conference Premier play-off places this year.

Despite heading to Altrincham Town tomorrow on the back of a five-game run without a win, Braintree are still only eight points off the play-off places with a game in hand over most of the sides above them.

They still have some long-running injury problems, with Charlie Strutton and Matt Paine unlikely to return for the trip to Altrincham, but Sparkes feels the squad has enough depth in it this year to push for a top-five finish and better last season’s highest-ever sixth spot.

He said: “We have bundles of talent in this team and the gaffer has brought in some great players.

“Going forward we are frightening as we are quick and sharp and there will be goals while we’re solid at the back.

“(Alan) Massey and Mitch (Brundle) have been brilliant and the two full-backs have been so consistent.

“We’re still going for the play-offs and I believe we have a better squad this year.

“We’ve had players out as they’ve had no choice with injuries but you wouldn’t think it.”