Injury-hit Urchins face challenge of leaders Tonbridge Angels

PUBLISHED: 16:09 19 October 2018 | UPDATED: 16:09 19 October 2018

Hornchurch will remain without injured captain Nathan Cooper (Pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Hornchurch will remain without injured captain Nathan Cooper (Pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

Hornchurch manager Jimmy McFarlane feels a harder challenge against the league leaders Tonbridge Angels is what they need as they look to bounce back from two consecutive defeats.

The Urchins welcome The Angels to Bridge Avenue on Saturday on the back of a miserable week of results but the boss insists it’s the perfect match to have after a bad run.

“Obviously you can’t pick and choose when you’re on a run of a couple negative results, but sometimes the harder the next test is the better, as no one will be expecting us to get anything on Saturday except me,” he said. “I know these players can do it, if you go back two weeks, we gave a very good Folkestone side a hiding – 4-1 flattered them.

“And then we ran a top National League South side (Hampton & Richmond) very close (in the FA Cup) and deserved to come away with a minimum of a draw.

“You don’t become a bad side overnight, but confidence is a massive part of football, and I think that is underestimated

“When you’re confident you do everything better, you run faster, pass better and I know that sounds silly but you do everything with more quality.

“Everything seems to happen and when you’re confident you’re on the front foot and then things run for you. This side is still plenty good enough to start climbing the table.”

The former defender is still pleased with their start to the Bostik Premier campaign but is now raising expectations.

“If someone would have said to me in July you’ll go the 10 or 12 and only lose two you would have taken that. But this side are better than that now.

“We have got a bit of everything and a couple of people are lacking confidence and form, but it’s hard to juggle them around when you’ve got a lot of injuries.

“It’s my job to pick them up, dust them down, and get them ready for Saturday.”

Urchins will remain without captain Nathan Cooper and midfielder Nathan Livings, but should welcome Alex Bentley back for the clash.

“I know everyone has their injuries, but Nathan Cooper is our captain, Kenzer Lee and Alex Bentley are vice-captains, and we haven’t had them all playing together in a few months.

“I’ve never been one to look for excuses, but to lose players when you have a small squad is one thing, but to lose key players is hard to fill them spaces.”

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