Away days could lift pressure on United

Banbury United manager Mike Ford
Banbury United manager Mike Ford

It is sometimes best to get away from it all when things are not going so well.

And that is exactly what Banbury United will be doing for their next two Evo-Stik Southern League fixtures.

I want my players to be composed on the pitch but I wasn’t being the same on the touchline

Puritans boss Mike Ford

The Puritans have not won at home in the premier division since late August and, despite encouraging midweek draws against Slough Town and Kettering Town, Mike Ford’s young side will be glad to get back on the road.

And United travel to two clubs where they will be confident of returning to winning ways, something they have not done in the league since October. The Puritans face St Ives Town on Saturday then face a long midweek trip to troubled Merthyr Town three days later.

Ford said: “If we play well at St Ives and get a point, that will be progress. But we mustn’t concern ourselves with the league table or the quality of the opposition, only with how we perform.”

Ford rang the changes against Kettering and said: “Based on our recent performances and the way some squad players have been working, I felt it was time to give those players their chance.

“I didn’t see it as a risk, I just felt it was time for a few players to come out of the side but they showed great character on the bench.”

Meanwhile, Ford said he was partly to blame for the club’s recent poor run, something he realised after discussing it with his staff.

He added: “I’ve not been a good manager in recent weeks, shouting at the players on the touchline. I want my players to be composed on the pitch but I wasn’t doing the same on the touchline.

“I’ve been holding the team back and I take responsibility for that.”