As he bids farewell to 2016, Banbury United boss Mike Ford can look back on a job well done.
Having guided the Puritans back into the top division of the Evo-Stik Southern League at the first attempt, Ford has maintained the momentum and his side has been in the top ten all season.
We must make sure this group of players isn’t dismantled by clubs with bigger budgets because it has taken a long time to assemble this squadPuritans boss Mike Ford
But, looking back on 2016 and ahead to the new year, Ford says the club must keep moving forward if they are to maintain their progress.
He said: “As a football club, we’re in a very good position. But we have to keep moving forward because if you don’t you will get left behind.
“2016 has been outstanding but when you step up a level there is always the question of whether you can cope.
“I know there were some players going and some coming in but I wanted to improve my team. Right now, we’re in a really healthy position.
“But there are no easy games in this division so when we lose games we need to be able to handle adversity better, not with the doom and gloom that followed some defeats.
“As a football manager, I have to get over those disappointments very quickly because it’s down to me to pick the players up for the next game.”
And Ford says the club must try its hardest to hold on to the players and keep them at the Banbury Plant Hire Community Stadium.
He added: “I know that the second season at any club is always more difficult and we need to have as many motivated players in the squad as we can, especially for those long trips second time around.
“As a football club, we must not be arrogant and think that no player will leave this club. We must make sure this group of players isn’t dismantled by clubs with bigger budgets because it has taken a long time to assemble this squad.”