CALM Dave Turner says he is in a much better place to go up against his former club when Shrivenham host Wootton Bassett tomorrow.
The Barrington Park boss openly admitted to being nervous when his new team took on Bassett at the back end of August to face a club he left in the summer after five years in charge.
Shrivvy were beaten 3-0 that day but Turner is buoyant ahead of this weekend’s clash, which is sure to play a crucial role in the Hellenic League Premier Division relegation battle.
“It’s not got the same feeling as the first time I went back a few games into the season,” said Turner.
“I felt a lot more anxious and nervy back then, but now I haven’t got any of those feelings at all. I’m in a far better place now.
“It was a big thing to leave and take up the job at Shrivenham. I wanted to be in a position to compete with every team in the league and early in the season we weren’t in a position to do that.
“We’ve had two committee meetings and the place is jumping at the moment – it’s a really good place to be. We’ve moved on as a club in the last three or months.
“I honestly haven’t had the chance to give Bassett a second thought, apart from when I’ve gone back there to get a couple of players in.”
Turner is hoping that his troops perform better in the high-stakes fixture than the last time they faced Bassett, a display he felt was severely lacking.
“I know how tough it’s going to be and no one can hide the fact it’s important. It’s a massive game for us and equally as big for them in all honesty,” he said.
“I’m hoping we give a better account of ourselves than when we played them last time as I genuinely believe that was our worst performance of the season.
“I’m comfortable with any result if my players keep playing like they have been for the last five or six games. That’s the key for me, maintaining that level.
“My hope would be that they take us lightly, that they see us as cannon fodder like a few teams have this year.
“In my head we were a better team than we were earlier in the season but that doesn’t guarantee us a good result.”
Turner, who has made a seven-day approach for Thatcham’s Sam Collier and can speak to the forward on Monday, has a full squad this weekend.
Bassett manager Jeff Roberts expects his former players Liam Edmondson and Craig Bowden – who exited Bassett for Shrivvy this season – to be fired up for tomorrow’s game.
“A couple of players have gone across to Shrivenham and they will want to prove a point,” he said.
“They were two players that we didn’t want to leave but they wanted regular football and Dave is able to offer them that.
"But we’re happy with how things are going at the moment. We’ve pushed on of late and if we can get the midfielder we’re after then that will make us even stronger.
“Shrivenham have picked up and got some results as well so they have started to settle a little bit.
“It’s about who really wants it on the day. We’re looking for three points and will go out to win the game, but if we get one then we will be happy with that.”
Jordan Roberts has been struggling with a groin injury while his fellow midfielder Dan Lardner is rated 50-50 with a dead leg.
Defender Shaun Carter is also doubtful due to a shoulder problem while Adam Corcoran is suspended.
Former Swindon Supermarine defender Mani Randhawa is included in the squad after he joined up with the Corinium side.