FOOTBALL: Stein believes in Clough's wisdom

Banbury boss Edwin Stein

Banbury boss Edwin Stein

First published in Sport Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Sports reporter specialising in horse racing. Call me on 01865 425453

Edwin Stein believes Banbury United should take heed of legendary manager Brian Clough’s words as they seek to build a team to compete in the Southern League Premier Division.

Stein’s basement boys, who are without a point from their first four games, face Bideford, who similarly are looking to break their duck after three starts, at Spencer Stadium tomorrow.

But rather than be downhearted by their opening results, Banbury’s boss has taken encouragment with the way the team has played following so many changes to the squad.

He commented: “As the great Brian Clough said it takes a player a year to integrate into any football club.

“I am not expecting it to take a year, but it will take time.”

Banbury’s latest loss came with a 1-0 defeat a Hereford United on Tuesday, but Stein said of his side: “They performed outstandingly, so I am reluctant to make any changes.

“I am pretty satisfied by the way things have gone and optimistic that we can start to pick up points.”

Nic Evangelinos and Elias Katsoloudi are added to the squad.

Mark Gee is looking for his North Leigh side to tighten up at the back while continuing their impressive attacking form when they visit Fleet Town in Division 1 South & West.

The Millers portayed both sides of their game in the 4-2 home win over Wantage Town on Wednesday.

Gee said: “I am still concerned that we are not defending properly as a team. We have four or five go-to players, though, who have the ability to change a game.”

Stuart Hole returns to the squad following his honeymoon, with Zak Eadie dropping out.

Striker Ryan Brooks could return for Didcot Town’s trip to Merthyr Town following a hamstring injury, but James Organ is on holiday.

Didcot lost 3-0 at home to Larkhall Athletic on Tuesday, and joint manager Ian Concannon said: “It was probably the worst performance since we took over. If we make changes no-one can question us.” Wantage Town’s new signing from Didcot, full back Sam Parish, faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines after suffering suspected knee ligament damage in the defeat at North Leigh.

However, captain Tom Melledew, who missed the midweek game with a foot injury, could be back as Wantage seek their first win against Bishops Cleeve, who have yet to pick up a point, at Alfredian Park.

Brad Shaw could make his debut.

Manager Gary Ackling said: “We realise that with the way results have gone it’s a big weekend for us.”

TOMORROW’S SQUADS

Banbury Utd (v Bideford, home): Hill, Westbrook, Maki, Obeng, Oke, Ryan, Abrahams, Murombedzi, Simpson, Masri, Browne, Al Ashban, Mzungwana, Stafford, Adeekunle, Katsoloudi, Evangelinos.

Didcot Tn (v Merthur Tn, away): Foster, Heapy, Organ, Baines, Carnell, Learoyd, Elkins, Clark, Mills, Whitehead, Self, Bernasconi, McKirnan, A Williams, Abrahart, Brooks.

North Leigh (v Fleet Tn, away): Bullman, Else, Hopkins, Turk, Gunn, Hole, Caton, A Woodley, McNish, Williams, Sanders, Osborne-Rickets, Westlake, Ingram, Bowler, M Woodley.

Wantage Tn (v Bishops Cleeve, home): Farrow, Tucker, Sadler, Da Costa, Cattell, Millward, Steedman, Jones, Lachacz, Johns, Barder, Shaw, Melledew, Riccio, Roberts, Deabill, Guy.

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