Ford reflects on season in which Puritans regained their identity
Despite seeing their late push for the play-offs prematurely ended, Ford was satisfied with the season’s progress.
Ford said: “My aim this season was to get my team back to how I wanted them to play and if we were successful doing that it would be a bonus. I thought the players we recruited were massive in that respect.
“The previous season I had let my grip on the team slip and allowed results to become the most important aspect. I looked long and hard at myself in the summer and spoke with several people I trust in the game.
“We came up with a game plan and we stuck to it from day one right up until what turned out to be the final game against Rushden & Diamonds, now everybody knows what Banbury United’s identity is. We play in the manner that we as a staff want to but unless the players carry it out then it counts for nothing.
“We lost several key players at important times, Jaanai Gordon scored lots of goals for us but we’re always prone to losing top scorers to clubs at a higher level and with bigger budgets. When Jaanai left we got Ravi Shamsi back and he did very well for us.
“What knocked us back was that period when faced four of the top five clubs and only picked up one point, meaning we dropped down to 13th from the play-off position. We lost our way and a few key players, at that stage other teams could have settled for mid-table but myself and my staff managed to drag the players back up.
“The Board backed us and we got right back into the mix, we had all the credentials to get into the play-off positions but we ended up seventh. It was frustrating the season finished how it did but at least we ended on the back of three straight wins.
“They were three difficult games but we were worthy winners in all of them. We’ve had three top ten finishes in for seasons so, for a club of our size, we should be immensely proud of that. But we mustn’t rest on our laurels, we need to keep striving on despite the implications of this situation.
“I’ve already had dialogue with some players and will talk to the rest over the next two weeks. It’s okay to talk about recruiting but the most important thing is to retain the players you want.
“I need to keep those players who have done so well for this club this season, they would be very difficult to replace.”
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