United need more belief to negotiate tough road trips

Banbury United manager Mike Ford
Banbury United manager Mike Ford

Banbury United boss Mike Ford says it’s down to him to instil some belief in his players.

And they will need plenty of it ahead of two tough trips on the road.

I’ve got to get the players believing they can go to these bigger teams and get something, and it’s my job to instil that belief in them

Puritans boss Mike Ford

The Puritans travel to Slough Town for Saturday’s Evo-Stik Southern League clash and then face a long trek to premier division leaders King’s Lynn Town the following weekend.

United have struggled against the division’s top teams so far and Ford says his players need to have more belief in their ability to get something from these games.

Ford said: “I’ve got to get the players believing they can go to these bigger teams and get something, and it’s my job to instil that belief in them.

“They certainly didn’t have it at Hereford but I’ve got some ideas about how we’re going to approach the games at Slough and Kings Lynn.

“We need to have an attacking threat but we can’t open up too early because they are both good sides we are facing.

“Slough have been pegged back recently but they won well in midweek. We’ve just got to make sure we’re still in both games after an hour.

“We went to Kettering and Hereford and got thumped, so I need to find a way to make it more difficult for those teams when they play us.

“We’re still in transition, I’ve played with three at the back and wing-backs. But we didn’t have the right players to fit into that system, so I’ve gone back to four at the back.

“I’ve got an honest group of players but they need to be more patient and learn the game.

“We’ve been a lot better at managing games since the turn of the year but it didn’t quite work out against Basingstoke.”

And Ford already has one eye on next season in terms of the players he wants to keep, release and bring into the club.

He added: “I’m also looking at next season and working out which players are good enough and which are not, and which system I want to play.

“But for us to be in and around the top five, whichever we’re division in next season, we clearly need to be better than we have been.”