DANNY Scopes has called on Concord Rangers to make the Aspect Arena a fortress ahead of tonight’s clash with Braintree Town.

Braintree suffered relegation from the top tier of non-league football last term and, following a managerial change and a large turnover of players during the summer, have made an encouraging start to the National League South campaign.

And Scopes is expecting a tough Essex derby.

“It will be a really difficult game,” said the Concord boss.

“We have had them watched a few times now and I have also watched a few games back, so we are aware of their strengths and weaknesses.

“Braintree are on a great run and bounced back after having some bad results at the start of the season.

“They have got some great results like beating Eastbourne Borough 5-0 and they got a late winner at Chippenham Town at the weekend.

“That shows they have good team spirit and togetherness.

They have won four of their last five fixtures, so they are clearly in great form.

“We have got to approach the game in the right manner.”

Just one point separates the two sides, with Concord currently sixth in the standings and Braintree two places further back.

Although the Iron head to the Aspect Arena following a fine run of results, Concord have shone on home soil.

The Beach Boys only suffered three home defeats last term.

Despite a squad overhaul during the summer and Scopes being appointed as the club’s new manager in May, Concord have continued to impress at the Aspect Arena.

From four home matches so far this season, the Beach Boys have recorded a trio of wins and only Maidstone United have left the Aspect Arena with three points.

And Scopes is eager to see the winning mentality remain.

“It’s important that we make the Aspect Arena a fortress,” added Scopes.

“We are in great form at home and our only defeat came against Maidstone, where we were sloppy for 45 minutes.

“We want to make the Aspect Arena a horrible place for teams to come.

“If teams come to our home with the mentality of the Aspect Arena being a tough place to come, they will already be in a poor state of mind and we can take advantage of that.

“We know we can make it difficult for teams to pick up a result and that bodes well.

“If we can win our home games and take some points away from home then we will be there or thereabouts come the end of the season.”

Concord head into the clash having ended a winless run which had lasted four encounters.

The Beach Boys recorded a 3-0 victory over Welling United.

Lamar Reynolds, Joel Nouble and Kreshnic Krasniqi were on target in the triumph.