It may look like we’re in a sticky spot and we are but we’re more than capable as a squad of getting out of it, says Holmesdale boss Byron Beard, who targets 10 wins out of 19 games to beat the drop
HOLMESDALE manager Byron Beard says his side must win ten of their last 19 league games to avoid becoming the first team relegated from the Southern Counties East Football League.
The Bromley based outfit are rooted to the foot of the table having won two and drawn four of their 19 games and are 11 points adrift of the side immediately above them, Croydon.
The club were due to take on fourth-placed side Corinthian at Oakley Road tonight for their first game since losing 1-0 at Fisher on 19 December.
The pitch passed an initial pitch inspection at 16:30 but match referee Hossain Tavakkoli called the game off two hours later due to a frozen pitch.
Beard said: “Unfortunate really. We were up here early on this afternoon, the pitch was fine, playable but it seems that the past hour or so the weather’s got particular bad, it’s freezing when it shouldn’t have been and it’s meant that the games off.
“Obviously everyone’s come here straight from work and brought all their stuff with them and we’ve got ourselves in the right frame of mind and unfortunately the weather’s beaten us.”
Attention now turns to Saturday’s Kent Reliance Senior Trophy Quarter-Final at home to Erith & Belvedere, now managed by former Holmesdale boss John Wilfort.
“I suppose everyone knows that Wilfs was here before me and he’s gone over there but I don’t think the game on Saturday will be a true reflection on where the two sides are sitting in the league, just due to the change of personnel and various suspensions and players cup-tied that we’ve got on both camps.”
Since having their trousers pulled down and spanked 7-2 at home by Tunbridge Wells on 2 December, Holmesdale held Lordswood and Rochester United to draws at home before losing 1-0 at Fisher in their last game.
“We’re in a better place, I think, from when you came and saw us against Tunbridge Wells,” said Beard, who revealed he is looking to train more than once a week.
“That gave us the low point in with regards to me and it opened our eyes as a management team as well as the players as to what we needed to improve on and who’s up for the fight.
“A couple of players have gone since then and moved on because they didn’t have the fight.
“We’ve stopped letting in the four, five, six, seven goals a game and have started to build on that and looking forward to the rest of the season and there’s still plenty of time.”
Beard is keen to avoid the club becoming the first club to suffer relegation. Two clubs will be clinching promotion from the Kent Invicta League next season as the two league’s merge.
“We’re under that impression (that there will be relegation this season) and we’re using that as a motivation for the guys here,” said Beard.
“We’ll take nothing for granted and we don’t want to leave it to chance. We want to stay up on merit rather than a technicality where they’re trying to increase the number of teams in the league.
“Look, we know it’s a hard task,” added Beard, whose side must win four wins to catch up with Croydon.
“We’re not even looking at Croydon. I think there’s three or four teams above us, the only good thing about the teams that have got games in hand on us is that they’ve got points on the board and that’s where we need to improve.
“We need to get those points on quickly but I think there’s four or five teams down there which if we win our games in hand we’re only going to be a win or so behind them.”
Beard has challenged his side to claim 10 league wins from their last 19 games to stay up.
“We said after the Fisher game, that was 2015, a poor year, we’ve got that out of the way. I think from now we look at 2016. We’re unbeaten firstly, although we haven’t played a game yet!
“It is building on that and getting the momentum. It doesn’t matter if it’s a cup game or a league game. We have to start that ball somewhere and if we win on Saturday we’re in a semi-final and we’ve got something to look forward to and build towards.
“As a group and as a club we’re much more settled. We know what we need to do and clearly being in this position has helped us to shape up what we want out of the last 17 games and it means every game now is just as important as the last.
“We can’t have the luxury like we had before Christmas that if we lost a game we’ve got another game next week to turn around.
“We know we need to get something out of every game or we need to try to get something so every game is a cup final for us now.
“I’ll put out a bold statement out there. If you get around the 40 point mark I think that will be enough, you will stay up in this league and that’s the personal target for myself is to try to get us up to that 40, so we’ve got to pick up 30 points out of the 17 games.
“The enforced break has left me a lot of time for me to look at it. It’s left us 12 teams in the bottom half of the table.
“We’ve got to play Sevenoaks twice, Crowborough twice. We’ve got to play people like your Erith’s still and Greenwich Borough, but I think they’re the type of game that if you get something from will be a bonus.
“We’ve got games around us like the two Croydon’s as well. We’ve got to play Deal away still.
“Looking at it on paper, it may look like we’re in a sticky spot and we are but we’re more than capable as a squad of getting out of it.”
Visit Holmesdale’s website: www.pitchero.com/clubs/holmesdalefc
Holmesdale v Erith & Belvedere
Kent Reliance Senior Trophy Quarter-Final
Saturday 23rd January 2016
Kick Off 3:00pm
at 68 Oakley Road, Bromley, Kent BR2 8HQ
Article published: 22:22 – 20 January 2016