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HELLENIC LEAGUE: Turner pleased with Shrivenham progress
SHRIVENHAM manager Dave Turner is pleased with the progress the entire club is making as he marks six months in the job.
The former Wootton Bassett Town chief inherited a team in tatters in the summer after, despite finishing rock-bottom, the SN6 side were spared relegation to Division One West following the voluntary demotion of Wokingham & Emmbrook and Witney Town folding.
The Barrington Park outfit went through as many managers as games won last season - three - but Turner’s men already have double that tally this season, having grabbed their sixth win of the season with a 2-1 victory over fellow strugglers Newbury Town on Saturday.
“Overall, I’m over the moon with the performances,” Turner said. “It’s a great way to end the year and it puts a bit of distance between us and Newbury. We can now start to look upwards, rather than behind.”
Though Shrivvy have flirted with relegation all season, Turner believes the hard work he has implemented off the pitch is beginning to pay dividends in key matches.
“We’ve known all along that the position doesn’t lie, but I know how far we’ve come in a short period of time,” he said. “People lose sight of that sometimes, they look at the position in the league and don’t see the work that’s going on with the players or other people at the club. They don’t see how much has gone into it, or how far the club has come forward since I’ve been here.
“You only have to look out there now, we’ve got the physio warming them down properly, these little things make a big difference. We set our own standards, (Newbury’s players) are walking out now, my players have just gone in to the changing room.
“That won’t win you games, but if you do enough of the right things, enough of the time, then you’ll pick up more points than if you follow the same pattern as other teams.”
Turner also believes that his players have raised their game following the introduction of new discipline levels.
“Players like to have structure, they like to have professionalism.” Turner said. “If you ask the players that were here previously, they would say that there’s a level of professionalism now that hasn’t been there for the last couple of years.
“Whatever I ask them to do, whether it’s training, warm-ups, warm-downs, everything. I’m getting good numbers and good positive feedback.”
Though wins have been hard to come by for Turner’s men, he has been encouraged by performances against high-flying sides despite a gulf in playing budgets. Leaders Ardley and promotion-chasing local rivals Highworth Town both beat Shrivvy in December, but Turner took more positives from those results than negatives.
“I think it has shown in our performances,” he said. “Against Highworth, for example, who have a big budget, we worked so hard against them. In the end we lost out because of the clinical nature of their finishing. They have TJ Bohane, who is a very good player, and that’s what money can buy you.
“But we’ve played two games in three days over Christmas and the players were still running at the end of the 90 against Newbury. I came to watch a couple of times last year and they’re far fitter this season. There’s no doubt about that at all, but that’s down to their commitment to get fit, they’ve put a lot of work into that.
“I’ve got nothing but positive things to say about the club and the players that I’ve got here."
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