Salford City manager Graham Alexander has said his side must “focus on the next game” when they face Gateshead in the FA Trophy, rather than dwell on an end to their 20-game unbeaten run last Saturday.

The Ammies suffered a surprise defeat to Chesterfield at the Proact Stadium, despite the Spireites having been on a run of 19 games without a victory ahead of the National League clash.

In losing to Chesterfield, Salford City failed to take advantage of first-placed Leyton Orient dropping points against Boreham Wood and remained in second place, one point off the top of the table.

However, despite the disappointment of the defeat, Alexander was keen to move on quickly from the unexpected loss and the end of the impressive unbeaten run – instead choosing to praise his players’ hard work and efforts in the past months.

Alexander said following the Chesterfield match: “We’ll learn from today but I can only give the players a load of praise for what they’d done over the last few months to go 20 games.

“[Going] unbeaten is difficult at any level of football and this run has showed great ability, great fitness, great focus to do that and it’s come to an end today.

We have to make sure when we come back to work next week we’re ready to win the next game and that’s what we have to focus on… the next game.”

Salford City’s manager Graham Alexander on the touchline

Salford City’s next match is a cup match, giving the Ammies players a break from the rigors of a promotion-challenging league campaign, but Alexander and supporters equally will still expect a good performance against a tough opposition in Gateshead.

The FA Trophy is a cup competition involving teams playing at tiers five to eight of the English football pyramid – namely sides in the National League, National League North and National League South and the divisions up to two levels below.

With Salford City targeting promotion to League Two, and therefore the Football League, this season, this may very well be Salford City’s last chance at challenging for this particular trophy and would add to a potentially successful season.

The clash with Gateshead kicks off at the Peninsula Stadium at 15:00 on Saturday.

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