Ford sets target as Puritans prepare for their final push

Banbury United manager Mike Ford
Banbury United manager Mike Ford

Banbury United boss Mike Ford has set his players their target for the run-in.

The Puritans travel to Royston Town for Saturday’s Evo-Stik Southern League clash with Ford looking for a strong end to the campaign.

We sat down with the players and agreed our targets for the remaining games

Puritans boss Mike Ford

Only nine games remain and there are plenty of points on offer for Ford’s boys. Royston went above United in midweek following a five-goal show against Merthyr Town, in which Adam Marriott bagged four goals, just as Elliot Sandy did against Farnborough.

Ford said: “They’ve got a striker who hit four goals on Tuesday and we’ve got one who scored four goals on Saturday so it could be a high-scoring affair! But I don’t think that will be the case.

“It’s going to be a tough game, they’re quite similar to how we were last season. They’ve come into this division, an unknown quantity, and they’ve done very well dealing with the new challenge.

“They’ve got an experienced manager in Steve Castle. It’s a difficult encounter but we’ve already beaten them comfortably at our place when we played very well, especially in the second half.

“We’re going into Saturday’s game on a good run of form, so we need to approach it without any fear. We sat down with the players and agreed our targets for the remaining games.

“If we achieve what we believe we can, then we’ll be very close to a top five position. If we don’t manage to get across the line in some of those games, then we won’t.

“Our problem this season has been not seeing off teams we should beat at our place. But I could sense straight after the Farnborough game that the players felt they had achieved something.”

Ford is considering whether to try and hold on to QPR’s Martin Herdman until the end of the season.

With Jack Harding still not fully fit, Ford will not want to be left without a keeper for the run-in. Striker Leon Lobjoit has been ruled out for the rest of the season so he won’t be returning.