SHRIVENHAM manager Gareth Davies believes the penny has finally dropped for his players after some home truths were dished out following consecutive defeats last month.

In the aftermath of losses to neighbours Fairford Town in the FA Vase and Malvern in the Floodlit Cup, the Shrivvy boss admitted he would have some ‘tough decisions’ to make regarding his playing squad and their future at the club.

A lack of hard work was the manager’s biggest gripe in the opening weeks of the season, but since that midweek clash, Shrivenham’s results have turned around exponentially and four wins out of four have been recorded in the Hellenic Premier Division.

Unsurprisingly, Davies believes the metaphorical clip round the ear his players received has spurred them on to work harder than ever before and realise their form from last year did not give them an automatic head start this season.

Davies said: “We’ve definitely clicked a little bit more in recent weeks – 99 per cent of that comes down to our work rate.

“We’re working a lot harder in games now.

“At times, I think the players felt we were just going to turn up and teams would just roll over for us, and that doesn’t happen at this level, unfortunately.

“But it’s clicked now that when we work hard and we keep the ball better, results improve.”

Shrivenham are due to travel to Flackwell Heath on Saturday – a side that reached the FA Cup second qualifying round before falling to Slough Town in September.

As a result, Heath have only played eight league fixtures – winning five – and are in a favourable position among the congested mid-table spots.

Davies therefore said his side will not be taking their opponents lightly and the Shrivenham manager is planning on taking a full-strength squad over to the outskirts of High Wycombe.

He said: “We played them in the county cup a few weeks back and lost 3-2. They were not a bad side at all.

“I think they will be up there come the end of the season.

“We played quite a few youngsters in the cup game to give them the opportunity to get some minutes under their belt, but we’ll take our strongest squad down with us on Saturday.”

“The league is the most important competition after all.”

Elsewhere, Fairford Town travel to Binfield while Royal Wootton Bassett Town are also on the road – against Easington Sports.