McFarlane: I can’t give up, even if I want to

PUBLISHED: 16:00 17 April 2015

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

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

Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO c/o 27 Plaiters Way, Braintree, Essex, CM7 3LR - Editorial Use ONLY - FA Premier League and Football League

Hornchurch boss hoping for miracle with relegation looming

Hornchurch know a victory against Peacehaven & Telscombe tomorrow (Saturday) may not be enough to preserve their Ryman Premier Division status.

Jimmy McFarlane’s Urchins have to win to give themselves any chance of avoiding playing in the eighth tier of English football for the first time since 2007.

But should Harrow Borough and VCD Athletic both win this weekend the Bridge Avenue club would still be relegated even if they pick up three points against fellow battlers Peacehaven.

Hornchurch are currently on a seven-game winless run which has seen them plummet to their perilous position and has led manager McFarlane to question the commitment of modern-day footballers.

When asked if he was confident his team could still avoid the drop after a 3-2 loss at Enfield Town last weekend, he said: “Confident would be the wrong word – more hope. As a person I can’t give up even if I wanted to. I’ve said it before, but football’s changed.

“Some people just play now because they think that’s the thing to do. I played because I was in love with it. I hate losing anything.

“These young footballers today, if they come first, 10th or 22nd they’re not bothered. Once they’ve done their job on a Saturday it’s forgotten about once they’re in the bar.”

In the seven games since they last experienced success the Urchins have shipped 20 goals while scoring just eight times.

Prior to that streak Hornchurch had a good defensive record in comparison to the other sides around them in the table, with a goal difference of minus nine compared to minus-21 now.

Having conceded an average of just under three goals per game since beating Dulwich Hamlet on March 14, McFarlane believes his side’s defensive effort may ultimately prove costly.

“If we win and the others lose we’re five points behind with two games left,” he added.

“We’ve got three massive games left, but as I say big games or small games, it’s goals that win games and we keep shipping them in.”

Peacehaven themselves are not enjoying the best of times having lost their last six games, a run which has seen them slip down the table and join Hornchurch in the bottom four.

When the sides met earlier in the season it was the Magpies who emerged victorious at their Sports Park ground, winning 2-1.

But McFarlane insists his full focus is on ensuring Hornchurch are fully prepared rather than concerning himself with how other teams play.

“It’s not other teams I worry about, it’s us. Against Enfield we were more than a match, but they didn’t gift us goals,” he added.

“We had to earn our goals. It’s not who we play that worries me, it’s who turns up for us.”

McFarlane will be hoping that works as the perfect rallying cry for his team ahead of tomorrow’s crucial game, to ensure Monday’s trip to Hendon isn’t academic.

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