McFarlane: Hornchurch need right frame of mind for success

PUBLISHED: 12:00 18 December 2015

AFC Hornchurch manager Jimmy McFarlane (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

AFC Hornchurch manager Jimmy McFarlane (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo +44 8450 946026

Urchins boss says team must not be complacent as they welcome Waltham Abbey

Hornchurch manager Jimmy McFarlane says the team cannot afford to be complacent for the second successive week when they host Waltham Abbey tomorrow.

Urchins were stung by Ryman North strugglers Heybridge Swifts last time out, going down 1-0 at Scraley Road.

The Bridge Avenue club are up against more relegation-threatened opponents this weekend in the form of the Abbots.

And McFarlane knows his team cannot start the game thinking it is already won, warning that it could hurt their promotion push.

“There was some complacency before the Heybridge game because we didn’t play to the levels I know we can,” he said.

“By the time we realised in that game it was too late, but it has been hammered out of the team ahead of the Abbey match.

“The team need to be reminded that whenever teams fighting at the bottom come up against the likes of us, Cray or Thurrock, they raise their game.

“It’s something that we have to learn to deal with and something that also has been our Achilles heel this season.”

Aside from the shock defeat at Swifts, the other surprise for Hornchurch last time out was the fact they did not score.

Urchins have one of the most potent attacks in the division, with strikers George Purcell and David Knight scoring 34 goals between them so far.

It was only the second time Hornchurch have failed to score on the road this season and the first since the trip to Romford in August.

But McFarlane has no concerns over his firepower and has backed them to get back to scoring ways against Abbey.

“The likes of George and David get a bit of stick from the lads if they don’t score, but I’ll only get worried if they haven’t scored for 10 games rather than just one,” added the Urchins manager.

Hornchurch suffered frustration in midweek after seeing their league trip to promotion rivals Maldon & Tiptree called off shortly before kick off.

While much of the pitch at Park Drive was in a perfect condition despite recent wet weather, one corner was waterlogged.

Hornchurch had been hoping to use the game as a way of swiftly bouncing back from the Heybridge defeat, but McFarlane says he had no complaints over the decision to postpone the match.

“We did have our pre-match team talk and had got changed, but it was just that one corner of the pitch that was unplayable.

“I completely agreed with the decision though because players were probably more likely to get injured; having lost two players already to long-term ones, that’s always in the back of your mind.

“It did give us a chance though to further focus on the Heybridge game, work out what went wrong and how to change it.

“It also gave us a chance to pick the players up because they were down after the loss. We have a good squad, but sometimes they do need picking up.”

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