Finchampstead FC boss delighted by change in fortunesBy Adam Lee
December 21, 2011
Finchampstead manager Jon Laugharne praised the attitude of his players after the team stretched their Hellenic Division 1 East winning run to four games.
After a slow start to the season, which saw Finch lose five of their opening seven games, they have turned things around, and will go into the Christmas period fourth in the table after some outstanding results.
Laugharne, who stepped up from the reserve team to take over the first-team reigns at the start of last season, admits the players are now starting to find confidence in their abilities.
And although he refuses to admit that his sights are set on promotion, he is hoping to keep pace with the division’s leaders well into the new year.
“The main difference between the start of the season and now is that now we have all our players available,” he said.
"We have been able to get a stronger squad out week in week out and that’s been massive for us.
“On Saturday (against Chinnor) the game was a little bit flat, but we could bring on Dan Willis and Richard Evans and they freshened things up.
“We’ve missed having players coming off the bench and giving us a bit of strength in depth.
“The whole squad has also raised their level together.
“I’ve tried to drum it into them that we can achieve more than midtable, which is where Finchampstead teams have been finishing in recent seasons.
“The two wins against Penn & Tylers, when they were top of the division, has given the players the belief that they can do that.
“It is the players who have turned it around – they have stuck to the game plan and gone out there and done what they are good at.
“We’re peased with how things are going, but we still have a long way to go before we achieve what we want to.
“To be honest, I ideally wanted to be third by Christmas!
“Really, though, I have to be satisfied with being fourth bearing mind what we did las year.
It seems we have got over that and I can certainly see us in the top half of the table this season – as long as we keep improving.
“We have still got a lot to do, though.”
Finchampstead host Maidenhead United Res on Tuesday (2pm kick-off) looking to make amends for the 2-1 defeat they suffered at their hands earlier this season.
In that game, Finch were outplayed in the first half and trailed 2-0, but were dominant after the break and could easily have taken a point from the game.
And Laugharne believes his players are better prepared to take something from this game.
“We are far more more confident now and have improved since that game,” said the Finch boss.
“They are a couple of places below us, but when you play a reserve team you have no idea what they will throw at you.
“If the team is anything like the one we payed earlier this season, they will be young and well organised and it will make for a good game of football.”
Finch will be without suspended left-back Ben Winship for the visit of Maidenhead.
— Finchampstead Res Hungarian central defender Lajos suffered a horrific broken ankle during their game at the weekend.
He came out of hospital on Monday, but is expected to be out of football for at least a year.
All at Finchampstead wish him well for a speedy recovery.