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First Division South

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Upturn in fortunes for FC Oswestry Town

Wed 8th November 2017 | FC Oswestry Town
By Ian Templeman

FC Oswestry Town joint-manager Ryan Butcher believes that their recent results are a sign that the team has now recovered from a torrid opening to the season.

Ryan and Richard Williams-Jones took over as the club’s new management team in the summer, and endured a nightmare start, with nine straight defeats and just one win in the opening 13 games.

But results have picked up lately, and the draw at Daisy Hill on Saturday means it’s now just one defeat in five games, and that defeat came at runaway league leaders Silsden AFC.

Ryan admits that the going was tough at the start of the campaign but there were a number of reasons for the poor run of results.

“It was all a combination of things really”, he said.

“We did have a lot of injuries at the start of the season, and we did have a lot of new lads in too, and we struggled to find the right blend as they just didn't gel.

“We had a lot of lads who came in at the start of the season who played in the Cymru Alliance last season , and we felt it would be a similar level but a few of them struggled, and have gone back into the Welsh system now.

“We started tinkering about with formations but we have stabilised and settled on a formation now, although that might still change a bit depending on the players available.

“Against Daisy Hill (last Saturday) we had nine players missing that would normally be in the squad and they should all hopefully be back next week.

“So there will be a couple of changes personnel wise but formation wise we will probably look to stay with something on similar lines”.

Ryan also believes that the introduction of players in key areas in the past few weeks has had a significant effect on the team’s recent form.

“We have had a few lads back from injury and that has made a difference, and in the last few weeks we have just found the right blend”, he said. 

“We've got Louis Mackin in goal now, and he has played at a good level and is very stable and calms everything down at the back. 

“For the first nine games we just couldn't score and had no goalscorers, and that has changed with bringing Gary Meradeth and Lennox Beddows in who are two natural goalscorers, along with Jack Harris who is outstanding at the moment.

“Introducing the strikers has helped, because before, we were creating six or seven chances and having no one to finish, now we are making six or seven and scoring two or three.  That takes a lot of pressure off the defence, if we are doing that.

“We have also got a few younger lads who are at Oswestry College coming in to play and that has made a big difference, having younger lads who are full of energy.  Obviously they are not as experienced, but they are not scared to go and attack players and drive at teams.

“There are attacking players now who are more adventurous and not scared, whereas before we were playing the ball in nice areas, but not having that clinical touch, and that has changed.

 “We are still one or two short of where we want to be but I am sure we will get there”.

Looking ahead to the team’s upcoming games, Ryan is hopeful that the team’s current good form will continue.

“Things are starting to look up now - although obviously they couldn’t have got much worse - and now everyone is pulling in the right direction.

“I think our home pitch (the 3G pitch at the Venue) made a difference to the players we had at the beginning of the season. 

“They weren't used to it, but we have gone a little bit more local with the players we have got, they are more used to playing on 3G and I think it has a positive impact now when we play at home.

“Going away from home, we do need to understand that we do need to battle a bit more and maybe not play as much football as we want to.  But that is up to us to change our style of play to suit. 

“We have four or five games now where we are playing teams in and around us so we have got be picking up points from those, but it is an unforgiving league.  If you go behind in this league, there are teams that can shut up shop and are good at counter attacking. 

“A few weeks ago we were looking and thinking 'where is the next win coming from' and even if we got a win, we would still be points behind.  But now we are back in towards mid-table and are not too far away, and with a few winnable games coming up, we could be right back in the mix”.


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