Ford says players must cope with new expectation

Banbury United's. Mark Bell tries to find a gap in the Marlow defence
Banbury United's. Mark Bell tries to find a gap in the Marlow defence

Banbury United manager Mike Ford says his players will need to deal with supporters’ expectations if they are to continue their excellent run.

The Puritans go into Saturday’s Evo-Stik Southern League clash with Slimbridge having won six of their last eight Division One South & West outings to go fourth in the table.

We’ve come unnoticed but now we’re in the play-offs teams are coming here to press us

Puritans boss Mike Ford

Ford said: “We’ve come unnoticed but now we’re in the play-offs and teams are coming here to try and press us.

“The little bit of fear that could creep into our game will come from us losing to a team much lower than us. But to me it doesn’t matter if we lose to a top team or a struggling side, it’s just another game.

“Tuesday’s game against Marlow might have given the players what they needed to cope with the challenges ahead because there will be more games like that.

“We told the players afterwards that Tuesday’s game is how a lot of them will be now and Saturday will be no different. We’ve got to be able to deal that and we didn’t cope with it very well against Marlow.”

Tuesday’s crowd dipped back under the 200-mark which was disappointing, given the run United are enjoying and their brand of football. But Ford said his players have got to deal with the weight of expectancy.

He added: “We talked about how we can get people to come down here and I think we’re doing that. Now they’re starting to come back down but are expecting us to win every game and we’ve got to be able to deal with that.”