Still a lot of work to be done - Gloucestershire director of cricket
DIRECTOR of Cricket John Bracewell believes Gloucestershire will put their LV= County Championship season back on track if they finish off Derbyshire at Bristol today.
Gloucestershire are firmly in the driving seat at the halfway point of the game against the Division Two leaders and victory will very likely propel them back into the top half of the table.
Derbyshire are 211-5 in their second innings, just 12 runs ahead with five wickets remaining, and it will take a remarkable turnaround in fortunes if they are to avoid a first defeat in eight Championship outings this season.
But Bracewell insists his team is not home and dry yet and reckons the first hour this morning will be crucial in determining the outcome.
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He said: "We are in a good position and are front-running at the moment, but there is still a lot of work to be done.
"The first hour in the morning will determine how easy or difficult it is going to be for us. If Derbyshire build a handy lead, then there will be more pressure.
"If we knock them over quickly, then it will be more comfortable for us thereafter.
"We need to reassert our authority on the match during the first hour."
Victory would keep alive Gloucestershire's hopes of mounting a belated challenge for promotion during the second half of the campaign, and Bracewell admitted: "Beating Derbyshire would put our season back on track.
"We have played a tough brand of cricket and been competitive despite not having too much go our way so far. We have played a lot of games away from home, we have won only one toss and we had a home game completely washed out by the weather.
"Despite all that, the guys have held on in there, played some good cricket and been competitive in every game.
"We have seen in the past couple of years how teams putting together a run during the final weeks of the season can come through and win promotion.
"Surrey and Middlesex did it last season and we saw Worcestershire do the same thing two years ago."