Leonard demands consistent performances as season enters final stages
After picking up 10 points in the last five games, Guilsfield boss Nathan Leonard is pleased with how his side has performed this campaign, but the manager is pushing his side to improve in the coming weeks.
Despite a tremendous start to the 2017/18 Huws Gray Alliance campaign, the club and manager alike have a burning desire to ensure performances and results don’t drop in the coming weeks to ensure the club ends the season on a high.
The club have notched an impressive 12 wins from 23 games, and have the third best defensive record in the division. But, there is always room for improvement, and this is most certainly the aim for the manager in the end of season run in.
“I think as a manager you always want more and our form has been good but the sending off against Flint changed that game massively. We were superb and dug deep against a tough flint side, playing 65/70mins with 10 men and I do think 11 vs 11 on that day we would have won. But you can’t dwell on the past that’s gone and we must go on another run now.”
Guilsfield have quietly gone about their business this season, and find themselves just five points off top spot. Caernarfon sit atop the division on 48 points, but a win on the weekend could help keep Leonard’s side with a slight hope of securing the title come the end of the season.
However, it is the Cofis who the Gulls dropped three points to on the weekend, in a 2-0 loss. Leonard has lamented his side for playing positively merely in patches and has called for greater consistency ahead of this weekend’s test.
You can’t dwell on the past that’s gone and we must go on another run now.
“We did ok in patches and going in 1-0 down at half time we still felt we were well in the game. We had a good spell second half but didn’t trouble them enough in the final third and they punished us with two fantastic finishes. They deserved the win and showed us why they are top of the league; we just never really got going.”
But, ultimately the manager is pleased with how things have panned out for the side from North Wales this campaign, but knows that he cannot let performance levels drop this weekend in a tough encounter against Denbigh Town.
“Yes it will be a tough match Saturday they are a strong outfit. We played very well at Denbigh earlier in the season and hopefully we can match that Saturday. We know we will have to perform well and work hard if we want all three points. As expected the league is very tight and we need to put a great run together if we want to stay in the top 4. I’ve challenged the lads to maintain performance levels and pick up as many points as possible to give us confidence and momentum in the two cup competitions we are left in.”
However, the task at hand is set to be a difficult one, and the manager of the third placed outfit now he has his work cut out when he faces off against sixth placed side Denbight Town and is full of praise for his opposite number, Eddie-Maurice-Jones.
“Denbigh are a very good footballing team, Eddie has assembled a very strong squad and they always try and play the right way. They ended last season very well which is why I tipped them to do well this season especially after a couple of strong signings in the summer. Like us they’ve been in and around the top 5 all season which is credit to both teams when you look at how strong the league is. It’s all about who can now finish the strongest and hopefully keep pushing Caernarfon, Holywell and Airbus.”
However, the prospect of facing up to Denbigh has not been aided by the loss of two key players in Asa Hamilton and Andy Wycherley.
“Asa Hamilton is still banned this weekend and unfortunately Andy Wycherley has had to return to TNS following Paul Harrison’s sending off last weekend. We’ll miss Andy he’s a great lad and fitted well into the group but Lee Andrew is more than capable of filling in as he has done so several times this season.”
I’ve challenged the lads to maintain performance levels and pick up as many points as possible
But, as any manager worth his salt would do, Leonard is not just looking at the next game, but he is looking even further ahead as he aims to finish the season strong. Nine points out of their next three games is the aim, but he knows how tough it will be against Denbigh, Holywell & Porthmadog.
“I would love nine points!! Realistically looking at those three fixtures I would take 7 now all will be tough games for different reasons. Denbigh and Holywell are both flying high in the league. Holywell were superb when we watched them against Gresford recently and port can beat anyone on their day. But that’s this league if we turn up and put a massive shift in yes we could win all 3, if we are half hearted and not ruthless we could end up with nothing! We’ll be doing all we can to win all three games that’s for sure and like I said it’s important we get on a good run and take momentum into our cup games.”
FEATURED IMAGE: Darren Hyland