Boss will still gamble as he looks to keep club moving

Banbury United Manager Mike Ford NNL-180916-145408009
Banbury United Manager Mike Ford NNL-180916-145408009

Mike Ford insists he will try to move Banbury United forward, even if it means taking some tough decisions.

Like any manager, Ford is judged on results but fans also have their views on the recruitment and the release of some players.

Ever since I took this job I’ve always tried to make sure we finish as high as we can

Puritans boss Mike Ford

Ford said: “Ever since I took this job I’ve always tried to make sure we finish as high as we can.

“Promotion in my first season was totally unexpected and we did it on a shoestring budget. I managed to get a group of players together and we had the momentum of that in our first season back in the premier division.

“We came in under the radar and surprised a few teams to finish in a superb sixth position. But we lost Zac McEachran and have never managed to replace him.

“You can either sit on your hands and do nothing, and finish tenth, or you can try and do something to finish a lot higher. It’s a gamble and sometimes players coming in have not been as good as those going out.

“Most of the time they have improved the squad and that’s the conundrum for any manager. But if you don’t do anything eventually you slip backwards.”

Ford knew his decision to let Conor McDonagh go last season was not met with universal approval.

He said: “Conor McDonagh is an example of what I’ve always tried to do here. I tried to move the team on last season, so I replaced Conor with a player who I hoped would give us pace and get goals.

“But Leon Lobjoit got injured in only his second training session and we lost him for the season and I’d already let Conor go.

“I could have kept Conor and we may have finished in tenth but I wanted to see if we could finish higher than that. If I’m not going to try and move the team on then I won’t make any decisions but I have to think objectively.”