COACHES’ CORNER: Gavin Hurren Previews Leiston

Ahead of Saturday’s Pitching In Southern League Premier Central match, away to Leiston (3:00 KO), manager Gavin Hurren has previewed the fixture, as well as reflecting on our last two matches, a look at the striking and goalkeeping positions, and a thank you to the fans.

“Regarding the last two games, it’s brilliant to think we’ve played well away on Saturday and Monday, at Stratford and Biggleswade, especially as we’ve had tough situations with injuries and COVID issues. It just shows the strength and depth in the squad, with lads coming in and playing really well.

“There were two more clean sheets – I felt defensively and off the ball, we were looking strong. We could have won it at the end against Stratford, with Callum Ebanks hitting the woodwork and at Biggleswade, with the amount of chances we created, it would have nice for us to get a couple of goals but we go again – each point is a valuable point for us to stay in this league.

“Again, to repeat myself, I’m immensely proud of how the lads have applied themselves. The professionalism and attitude to play two games away in 48 hours is a credit.

“I also want to thank the fans for their support, especially with it being Christmas and people are off work and there are finances to consider. Fans have been at home games, at Stratford and at Biggleswade and I know it’s not easy but their big support is really appreciated by myself, the team and the club.

“I just want to touch on Callum Ebanks, who came back into the team against Stratford. He has been struggling with COVID so it’s nice to see him back. I know he’s been training a bit with Cheltenham to get him up to speed but credit to him, he’s come back and hit the ground running. I felt he had a really strong game against Biggleswade.

“We’ve got to monitor our current COVID cases and see how they are. We have Jack Newell returning from suspension, so that will be a big positive for us.

“Regarding the keepers, Akos (Onodi) picked up an injury with Aston Villa and he’s had to have an operation. Ollie (Taylor) and Clayts (Aaron Clayton) have been doing fantastically. I think we’ve got two of the best up and coming goalkeeping prospects in this league.

“I’m really happy with how Clayts has played in his string of first team games and I think Ollie has been fantastic in the last three matches, so it’s a nice selection headache to have for myself but credit to them both, they train, they push each other to the limit and it’s all healthy competition.

“Onto Leiston – I’m looking forward to it and hopefully we can put in another solid performance. We’ll have to assess injuries and COVID situations but hopefully we’ll be taking a strong enough team down for that trip.”

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