New Hadleigh United boss Ian Brown believes he can bring some stability to the club in order to help build for the future.
The former AFC Sudbury coach — who acted as caretaker manager for Hadleigh’s 6-0 win over FC Clacton two weeks ago — was announced as the successor to Stuart Crawford on Sunday.
And United’s new manager is hoping to mastermind a strong finish to the season, which starts with a home clash against his former club Whitton United on Saturday (3pm).
“We’ll be trying to win as many football matches as we can,” said Brown. “Like any manager I look at players who I think can help develop the team, but right now it’s about stabilising things.
“The club know that they are in a transitional period, and it’s my job to help build for the future.”
The Premier Division champions have endured a stop-start first half of the season, which sees them currently 18 points behind leaders Norwich United ahead of this weekend’s fixtures.
“They lost a lot of the title-winning team from last season, so it’s a different team now which will take time to rebuild,” said Brown. “We have some very good footballers at the club, and it’s about building confidence between now and the end of the season.
“I want them to enjoy playing for each other and for the team.”
n First Division leaders Long Melford continue a tough January schedule with a trip to promotion rivals Haverhill Borough on Saturday (3pm).
Jules Mumford’s side thrashed third-placed Debenham LC 5-1 at the weekend, which stretched their unbeaten run to seven matches.
“All the fixtures are tough, but when we looked at January it couldn’t have been much harder,” said Mumford, who will assess the fitness of leading scorer Jamie Griffiths before kick-off, after he came off injured during Saturday’s win.
The Villagers have picked up draws against Swaffham Town and Saffron Walden Town already this month.
* Elsewhere, Halstead Town (ninth) visit Dereham Town Reserves, while Cornard United (18th) put their unbeaten record in 2015 to the test away at Great Yarmouth Town (both Saturday, 3pm).
Cornard United are triumphant:
THURLOW NUNN LEAGUE FIRST DIVISION Cornard United 4 Woodbridge Town 2
TJ LePage scored two top-drawer goals against his old club and Jamie Gregory made his comeback after re-signing from Stowmarket Town as Cornard United came out top in a bottom-of-the-table clash. They would have been up to 16th after this win, had it not been for the league ordering them to replay their fixture at Braintree Town Reserves after an infringement of the rules. Matt Knight’s throughball released LePage and his 30-yard lob sailed into the net. Soon after, top scorer Ezra Drann made it two with a stunning volley from an acute angle.
After the break, Cornard dominated proceedings, but the visitors made it 2-1 with a freak own goal. The hosts added two more goals though, with a great run and finish from Drann and a fine volley on the turn from LePage. The visitors added a second deep into injury-time.