‘Must-win’ game for Jim’s Urchins

PUBLISHED: 15:00 27 March 2015

Hornchurch manager Jimmy McFarlane and chairman Colin McBride (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Hornchurch manager Jimmy McFarlane and chairman Colin McBride (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

Bridge Avenue manager discusses week ahead and new signing Danny Woodards

Hornchurch boss Jimmy McFarlane insists his players have not thrown in the towel ahead of a huge Ryman Premier clash with relegation rivals Harrow Borough at Bridge Avenue tomorrow (Saturday).

After defeats at Hampton & Richmond Borough and Margate, Urchins have dropped back into the bottom four, while Harrow’s recent form has seen them 
leapfrog McFarlane’s men.

But Hornchurch have a game in hand and McFarlane believes they must win this weekend – and is confident they will.

“Saturday is an absolute must-win. It is the definition of a six-pointer,” said McFarlane. “Our inconsistency is why we are where we are, but I haven’t lost faith.

“I think we have enough and we need to go again. People may believe we should throw the towel in, but those players in the dressing room haven’t.”

Urchins are set to face Hendon on Monday as well and have seven fixtures left to keep themselves up.

Although that clash is Hornchurch’s toughest on paper, McFarlane feels they can get something from the game.

And despite suffering a tough week, he is keeping spirits high.

“When you are at the top you can dwell on defeats, but down the bottom you need to put it to one side,” added McFarlane.

“Hendon is going to be a tough game, but they all are in this division. Gary McCann is a fantastic manager and I know him very well.

“He hasn’t got the money Margate have got, but he has kept most of the side he had last year and they are a good team.

“Perhaps I am too optimistic, but I feel we can go there and get something.

“I am not being disrespectful to teams around is, but the players we have got we shouldn’t be in this position.

“It is just as a unit, me included, we are underachieving, but we need to pick ourselves up and keep positive.”

The catalyst for Hornchurch’s defeats to Hampton (2-1) and Margate (5-1) this week was conceding goals early on.

Moussa Diarra put Hampton ahead at the weekend before George Purcell hit back, but Duncan Culley struck late on to defeat Urchins.

And on Tuesday they were blown away by Margate as Zac Attwood, Freddie Ladapo, Ben Gerring and former Urchin Tambeson Eyong scored inside the first 30 minutes at Hartsdown Park.

Kieron Bishop pulled one back after the break, but Attwood helped himself to another to make it a disappointing league debut for young keeper Callum Chafer, who was deputising for suspended number one Sam Mott.

McFarlane added: “Three games on the trot we have conceded in the first five minutes.

“We have gone from one extreme to another after being excellent in defence against Canvey Island and Dulwich Hamlets.”

Former Tranmere Rovers utility man Danny Woodards also made his Hornchurch debut against Margate after signing until the end of the season.

“We won’t hold onto him next year, but he was happy to stay until the end of the season,” said McFarlane.

“He wants to get fit and you could see his quality on Tuesday. He needs to get himself back in shape because this is his livelihood.”

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