09:00AM, Tuesday 24 December 2019
Chris Brown is calling on his teammates to become a little more savvy both home and away as they look to avoid relegation come the end of the season.
The Maidenhead skipper has been impressed with how the newly promoted side have ‘stepped up’ to the tough challenges in Premier Division 2 West, but admits there is plenty more work to do and more lessons to be learnt.
Brown doesn’t yet know how many sides will be relegated this season – last year it was none – but he expects possibly two sides, or maybe more, may face the prospect of demotion. He said it was up to them to ensure they finish above the line drawn by England Hockey and that will mean finishing in lower mid-table.
“It’s about getting that consistency of performance over a longer period of time in matches,” he said.
“I don’t feel that we’ve got the reward to justify the dominance we’ve had in some games. We need to be a little more savvy both at home and away from home. We’ve taken more points at home and hopefully that continues because we’ve got some big games coming up at home in a critical stage of the season.”
Maids headed into the long Christmas break off the back of a 5-2 home defeat by Southgate 2nds on December 7. They’ll return to action against Richmond 2nds at Altwood School but will play a couple of friendlies before hand to blow out the cobwebs.
“At the beginning of the season we didn’t have consistency in selection, but we’re getting that now,” added Brown.
“If we’re able to get that over the second half we’ll be a more cohesive unit and that will make a difference in tight matches.
“Most of the games we’ve played so far have been tight. We’ve only lost one game by more than a goal and we’ve had periods where we’ve out played sides and been the dominant force. That’s been really pleasing. Our players have been getting better and making the small improvements and adjustments they need with every game. It’s been a tough challenge but it’s one we’ve stepped up to.”
Brown added: “At the moment we don’t know how many teams will go down. It depends on what happens in the leagues above us. Last year no team went down, but we’d expect at least one or possibly two this season.
“It depends where England Hockey draw the line. We’ve got to make sure we don’t get caught out by ensuring we’re not in danger but we’ve got some work to do.”
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