BRADFORD (Park Avenue) take on Leamington tomorrow in the Vanarama National League North, with manager Mark Bower calling it their "biggest game of the season".

He is happy to be taking on the Warwickshire outfit at Horsfall, where he says his team have played well since his return, but he also warned that his players can't keep using hard luck as an excuse any more, after some battling defeats.

They do not get much more narrow than Avenue's heartbreaking loss at home to King's Lynn Town last Saturday either. Leading 2-1 with eight minutes to go against the league's second placed side, they let in two late goals and were beaten 3-2.

Bower is hopeful of bouncing back tomorrow, saying: "We've done well in my three home games so far. But we've got to make it count against Leamington, as it's our biggest game of the season.

"Against the likes of Gloucester (a 1-0 defeat) and last Saturday (King's Lynn) we've been unfortunate, but we can't keep using hard luck as an excuse. We need a result."

They will fancy their chances against 18th placed Leamington, who have lost four league games on the bounce and let in nine in their last two.

Bower warned that the visitors will be thinking exactly the same about them though.

He said: "They'll look at how we've conceded three or more in each of our last three games so both teams will be looking to exploit those weaknesses.

"We're keen for a clean sheet as we've not had one yet since I've arrived. We want to keep it tight because I think in all those games, we've got into good areas in attack.

"If we can take our chances, get one goal in front, then keep that back door shut, that will give us a good chance."

That back door was eventually broken down by King's Lynn late on last week, but Bower said: "We did well and coped with their threats for the majority of the game.

"But we suffered injuries as the game wore on, which left us disjointed and having to change our system. We ended up running out of players in certain positions.

"We could have defended better for two of their goals, and I think late on we maybe got nervous as well, as we've not won many.

"We certainly showed more than we did at Kettering (a 4-0 defeat) but there's still plenty to improve on."

One of the major positives was on-loan AFC Telford United midfielder Jonathan Royle, who performed excellently on his debut.

Bower said: "He's a fit young lad and he slotted in well. He broke up the play and showed good quality.

"I think he's been the missing ingredient in that part of the pitch. He's made a good start and he'll hope to continue that."