I would say we need to win another four games and I think we’ll be alright, says Erith & Belvedere boss John Wilfort
ERITH & BELVEDERE manager John Wilfort says his side will get out of the relegation dog-fight.
The Deres were thrashed 6-2 at home to Ashford United last Sunday and remain in the bottom four of the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division on 20 points from their 25 league games.
Erith & Belvedere are only five points clear of the bottom two and have lost 10 of their last 11 games.
Beckenham Town remain rooted to the foot of the table with 13 points from 25 games and have extended their miserable run of winless games to 20 after suffering a 3-0 defeat at Corinthian in midweek.
Fisher, just above them, have shown signs of improvement under Dean Harrison since he took over from Gary Abbott, winning two and drawing two of his eight games in charge since returning to manage the club.
“I want to try to bring a few in that I’ve had my eye on,” said Wilfort, as he looks to strengthen his fragile side.
“We haven’t got a game on Saturday so it will give me an opportunity to bring some in and freshen it up and just keep plugging away, but we’ll be alright, we’ll be fine.
“I’m disappointed with the way we’ve failed to get points this year but a part of that I’ll take that on the chin. It is what it is, we are where we are, we just have to try to get out of it.”
When asked whether there is pressure from long-serving chairman John McFadden, Wilfort replied: “There’s always pressure when you’re either at the bottom or the top. There’s pressure wherever you are. You need that pressure because if you didn’t have the pressure you won’t react so we need a reaction from the players.”
Wilfort is keen to instil a confidence boost in his players ahead of their next League game – at home to eighth-placed Hollands & Blair on Saturday 18 February.
He said: “The group of lads have sort of grown away from each other a little bit so we’ll have a bit of fun with them, maybe work on some stuff and have a bit of fun with it. We’ll have a hard training session tonight and try to get an away friendly on Saturday that will give me an opportunity to assess stuff and bring a couple in.”
Erith & Belvedere have won five of their games and when asked how many more in their last 13 games the club need to stay in the division, Wilfort replied: “I would say we need to win another four games and I think we’ll be alright.
“But it’s not that easy. Teams like us, Fisher and Tunbridge Wells are all scrapping for the same players, the free players. The selection at the top have got the chance of going out and getting the players they want. It’s difficult when you’re scrapping for the same players when you’re near the bottom.”
But Wilfort was full of praise for goalkeeper Samuel I’Anson – who conceded six goals against Ashford United last weekend – for staying loyal despite an offer from Beckenham Town.
“We had seven dayers (an official approach for a non-contracted player) come in for Sam my goalie. Beckenham came in for him, put a seven-dayer for him. They offered £70 per week, £50 win bonus, £20 clean sheet! I didn’t think they paid money but you don’t know what goes on behind closed doors, so they’re in a situation. If they want to offer him that I’ve got no problem what people want to offer players, it’s not my business.
“I’m very pleased (he’s staying) because I can tell you that now he’s nowhere near that here, nowhere near because there ain’t hardly anything here but I’m very pleased and I’m pleased he’s shown me that bit of loyalty.
“There’s no loyalty in players because that’s how it is. If someone offers them more money, they go. That’s the nature of the game, that’s what’s happening, it will never stop.
“I don’t look into stuff like that anymore. If I go and try and get a player what can stay with me for a period of time and do well and they move on to better things then he’s done me a favour and he’s gone onto better things, so we’re both winners.”
Visit Erith & Belvedere’s website: www.erithbelvederefc.co.uk