Tevan Allen was catapulted from a dressing room looking to make a charge for the play-offs into one who know they are beginning to flirt with relegation — but the recent AFC Sudbury signing says he could not tell them apart.
The 20-year-old became the latest to have made the switch between fierce rivals Bury Town and AFC when he signed for The Yellows on a free transfer ahead of the crucial 1-0 home win over Worthing in mid-February.
Asked if the dressing room seemed down in the dumps and in a relegation fight or one that seems far removed from that, he replied: “Definitely not. It is definitely far removed from that.
“There is a lot of togetherness and spirit with both the older lads and the younger lads. And as people saw after the Worthing game, we were all getting in a huddle. I do not think anyone feels defeated at this club at all.”
Since that home victory on his debut, made from the substitutes bench, AFC have gone on to lose their next three matches to leave them hovering just a place and two points above the drop zone.
But with three out of their five games in March seeing them on their artificial 3G pitch, starting with 16th place Folkestone Invicta on Saturday (3pm), Allen is confident they can kick-start a run to get them out of trouble.
“I think it is a case of just grinding out results, not looking at the league and getting result after result,” he said.
“They are not a club that want to go down. It is daunting going down with a club and I went down with Bury, but even there it was nothing but fight, no-one wants to go down really.”
The player who can play right-back, as a holding midfielder or on the right wing, made his first start for the club in the costly 2-0 defeat at relegation rivals Leatherhead last Wednesday evening and kept his place for Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at Metropolitan Police.
With Tyler French, who has cemented his place at right-back despite only turning 18 recently, looking set to leave with Premier League Crystal Palace still thought to be in negotiations with AFC about a summer move, Allen would love to make himself the ready-made replacement.
“I have played a lot for Andy (Reynolds, AFC assistant manager) in different positions at Suffolk level, so it is not new to me to try and fit in a role.
“But if Tyler French is moving on I’d definitely like to cement that position, like he did coming in as a young lad. But I am happy to fill in any position I need to and just eventually cement my place in the team.”
n The AFC Gold week 44 winners are: £100 (174) G Woodward, Essex Avenue, Sudbury; £10 (279) S Spurgeon, Melford Rd, Sudbury; £10 (116) P Gant, Cats Lane, Sudbury.