Thu, 26 Apr 2018
HUNGERFORD Town manager Ian Herring has backed his players to beat East Thurrock United on Saturday and avoid relegation from the National League South.
The Crusaders suffered their sixth successive league defeat on Tuesday night when they lost 1-0 away to Concord Rangers, leaving them one point above the drop zone.
Lewis Taaffe scored the only goal of the game in the second half, while Diak John was sent off for the visitors.
With the final games of the season looming this weekend, either Poole Town or Hungerford will be confirmed as relegated on Saturday.
Speaking after the Concord defeat, Herring said: “It’s a bit frustrating, but once again results have gone our way, so to speak, and the positive thing is that it’s still in our hands.”
Hungerford created a number of chances in Tuesday’s game, but a lack of clinical finishing denied Hungerford from scoring for the second successive game.
“On the whole, the performance was good,” Herring said.
“We created a lot of opportunities, but once again we couldn’t get the ball in the back of the net, which has been a bit of an issue.”
The Crusaders boss believes having destiny in their own hands can only be a positive and the club know that if they get three points at East Thurrock, they will retain their league status.
Herring said: “We know what we’ve got to do – it’s in our hands and we couldn’t have asked to be in a better position because if you have to rely on other results it’s not nice place to be in.”
“I’ve played with a lot of these players for a long time and I see them three nights a week and I know how good those players are.”
Despite suffering six defeats in a row, the Crusaders boss has the belief that his side can confirm their place in the National League.
He said: “I’ve got the confidence and the belief in them in a one-off game to beat anyone in this league or the league above.
“I believe in them, they just have to believe in themselves and go into Saturday’s game full of positivity to keep that energy and work rate that we finished the Concord game with.”
Although Saturday’s opposition are already safe and cannot reach the play-offs, Herring admitted that it will still be a difficult challenge.
He said: “Those East Thurrock players will want to beat us for their own personal pride and for their club and we need to be ready for that.”