Ford wants a bit extra for play-off challenge

Banbury United manager Mike Ford wants the maximum from his players and staff
Banbury United manager Mike Ford wants the maximum from his players and staff

Banbury United manager Mike Ford has thrown the gauntlet down to his players as the play-off push gathers pace.

The Puritans entertain Larkhall Athletic in Saturday’s Evo-Stik Southern League clash with Ford acknowledging this season might be United’s best chance of regaining their premier division status.

It’s no use ducking challenges, we’re in the mix for promotion and we can’t hide away from that

Puritans boss Mike Ford

United are seventh in Division One South & West, just two points outside the play-off places, ahead of Saturday’s game at Spencer Stadium.

The club is hosting its first ever former players day on Saturday when some of the stars of yesteryear will be returning to the ground they graced.

Those wearing the red and gold on Saturday will want to produce a performance in front of what is already expected to be at least 40 former players.

But Ford wants his side to become history makers in their own right and promotion is the aim.

He said: “It’s no use ducking challenges in life, we’re in the mix for promotion and we can’t hide away from that. “But if we are going to get promoted everyone, including myself and my staff, as well as the players, are going to have to a bit extra.

“That means defenders making more tackles, Jack Harding making more saves, midfielders making more passes, Ricky Johnson and Leam Howards scoring more goals, and me making more right decisions than wrong ones.”

Louis Joyce is suspended otherwise United should have a full squad for Saturday.

United will travel to Oxford City on Tuesday for their Oxon Senior Cup quarter-final tie, providing the Vanarama National League North outfit do not require a replay in Saturday’s FA Trophy second round tie with Cheltenham Town.