Puritans will do well to repeat feat

Banbury United manager Mike Ford
Banbury United manager Mike Ford

On and off the field, Banbury United have to be better, says boss Mike Ford.

But that will not guarantee a higher finish than last season’s excellent sixth place in the Evo-Stik Southern League. United just missed out on the play-offs after picking up just a single point from their last three games.

Being better doesn’t always equate to getting more points and that doesn’t mean we are going to finish higher than what we did last season

Puritans boss Mike Ford

But to equal or better that effort, United will need to win more games against the so-called mid-table teams. A maximum 27 points were up for grabs in the nine games United lost to teams around and below them last term and that is something Ford says they must correct.

He said: “Being better doesn’t always equate to getting more points and that doesn’t mean we are going to finish higher than what we did last season.

“We’re still evolving, players and staff, in an effort to improve in all areas. But we cannot be complacent in any way, we have to keep pushing the club forward.

“Last season was very exciting, we beat the champions twice but we lost too many games against teams we should have beaten. We lost nine games against teams we should have beaten last season and that was a lot of points dropped.

“The big games will take care of themselves, we need to be better against the mid-table teams.

“Although I’ve brought in some experienced players, we’ve still got a nucleus of young players. Because of my budget and the way I am as a manager, I have to make sure there is youth in the team.

“I’ve brought in players who can fit into our style of play but I’m not going to insist we play out from the back every week. We will need to try and do a few things different this time, we need to be less predictable and surprise a few teams.

“That may not equate to results during the season but we’re bang on where need to be. Everything off the pitch is great and we’ve just got to continue that.”