CIRENCESTER Town manager Brian Hughes has revealed that a dressing room bust-up has helped put the Centurions one point away from the Southern League Division One South and West title.
A last-minute defeat at Didcot Town at the end of March was the fifth game that Cirencester have gone without a win and it was following that match that a row erupted in the changing room and the Corinium side havn’t looked back since.
“I just let them get on with it,” Hughes said about the row. “Three days later we had to go to Paulton.
“Most were late and some did not arrive until after 7pm - it looked a recipe for a drubbing.
“But we found an extraordinary performance from somewhere that night and since then there has been a different look in their eyes. The bond that they had before Christmas had come back.”
And the Centurions will need that bond tomorrow when they travel to Yate Town looking to seal the title.
“I can’t speak highly enough about all my players,” said Hughes. “They have been in the top two virtually all season and while the others have wobbled on the run-in we’ve had a run of six straight wins.
“Yate have drawn only once at home all season and we haven’t drawn away so I don’t know what to expect. I do know Yate is a tough place to get a result.”
Hughes goes into the game without two of the first-choice back four which has done him proud this season.
Captain and right back Shayne Anson continues to be sidelined with a suspected hernia and left back Dunton has picked up a ban for 10 bookings.
“We all feel for Shayne who played through the pain for a long time but it has now become excruciating,” added Hughes.
“Ellis is as strong a defender as I have at the club and, of course, it is a blow to be without them both.
“While not exactly running on empty, we have been down to a bare 14 or 15 players and they have given me everything in the last few weeks.
“I’m hoping they have one last big effort in them, but whatever happens they have been nothing short of remarkable this season.”