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Bostik North: Colin McBride jokes Hornchurch players drive him nuts with banter, but reveals squad is focused ahead of Bowers & Pitsea

PUBLISHED: 14:30 22 March 2018

Hornchurch players celebrate after Theo Fairweather-Johnson scores a late winning goal against Canvey Island (pic George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

Hornchurch players celebrate after Theo Fairweather-Johnson scores a late winning goal against Canvey Island (pic George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo tgsphoto.co.uk +44 1376 553468

Urchins assistant reflects on a good week for the Bridge Avenue club, the pleasing atmosphere amongst the players and last Saturday’s postponement

Hornchurch manager Jim McFarlane (left) and Colin McBride (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)Hornchurch manager Jim McFarlane (left) and Colin McBride (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Colin McBride has revealed the mood in the Hornchurch camp is a mixture of excitement and focus as they enter the final weeks of the Bostik North campaign, but he joked he would prefer for them to be a bit more quieter at training sometimes.

The assistant manager has taken charge of first-team matters for the foreseeable future after boss Jimmy McFarlane suffered a stroke on February 19.

McBride, who was previously chairman of the Bridge Avenue club for seven years, has been part of the coaching staff since stepping down as chairman in September 2016.

Under McFarlane, Urchins have been top of the Bostik North for the majority of the season and ahead of Friday’s title showdown with Bowers & Pitsea, who are 10 points off Hornchurch, the club’s interim boss revealed the mood in the camp.

“We had a really good training session this week and where Jimmy has predominantly taken training and now it has come on to me, I’ve told the boys they are a noisy bunch, but they all get on really well,” said McBride.

“To be fair they drive me nuts a bit with their banter. I don’t understand any of it, so I don’t know if I’m showing my age now. I do try to get them to run round in the warm-up in silence, but it is quite difficult!

“We are in a good place and if they don’t enjoy it now, when would they, but we are focused for Friday night at Bowers.

“We know anything can happen in football, but if we went there and won we would be 13 ahead with a game in hand with us having eight to go and them having seven, so you’d think it would take a major collapse from us for them to finish above us.

“So we just need to keep focused. We have Bowers next and Potters Bar Town the following week (March 31) at home, but the old boring cliché is we will take it one game at a time.”

Hornchurch assistant Colin McBride (left) and Dave Collis give instructions at Bridge Avenue (pic: George Phillipou/TGS Photo).Hornchurch assistant Colin McBride (left) and Dave Collis give instructions at Bridge Avenue (pic: George Phillipou/TGS Photo).

Hornchurch were hoping to extend their lead at the top last weekend, but saw their home clash with Mildenhall Town postponed.

McBride admitted the Bridge Avenue surface wasn’t too bad when a local referee went through a pitch inspection, but given the distance the Suffolk club would have had to travel and the predicted weather forecast, it was felt the best course of action was to call the fixture off.

He added: “The referee came over for a 10am pitch inspection and it would have been playable if the game went ahead then.

“I told him to go out and have a look, but the problem was the fact we had an amber warning for the area for the early afternoon and Mildenhall had a long way to come.

“Had it been a local team we might have got it on, but it was probably the right decision in the end and when I left at midday the temperature had dropped dramatically.

“It was quite bitter to be fair, so I didn’t even end up going to a game; I just went home and did a load of football paperwork for a few hours.”

Urchins will aim to show no signs of rustiness tomorrow when they take on second-placed Bowers at the Len Salmon Stadium.


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