Ilford boss Fenn focused on ‘Fortress Cricklefield’ plans
PUBLISHED: 16:00 17 September 2015
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Foxes have two home matches coming up and are hoping to take six points from them
Ilford host Enfield and Wadham Lodge in the Essex Senior League over the next week and manager Allan Fenn is determined to make Cricklefield Stadium a fortress.
The Foxes’ record on home soil this year has been decent with two victories in the league and a defeat to Stanway Rovers in their FA Cup preliminary round tie.
But with three home matches coming up in a row, Fenn is keen for them to make it a tough place for opposition to visit.
On Saturday they welcome Enfield before league new boys Wadham make the short trip on Wednesday and Fenn ise hoping to register maximum points.
He said: “The idea is to get six points from those games. We honestly believe, and this isn’t through rose-tinted glasses, that with the squad, the coaching staff, facilities and infrastructure we have that we can be up there this season.
“If you want to be near the top you have to win your home games, it doesn’t matter who you’re against. We want to win the Enfield and Wadham Lodge games, of course we do, but we know they will be tough in their own right.”
Fenn was full of praise for both sides ahead of meeting them.
He knows the managerial staff at Enfield very well and believes they will provide a tough test.
Wadham Lodge remain a bit of an unknown quantity having only joined the Essex Senior League this year, but the Ilford boss hailed their early impact and has heard good things about them.
“I have been really impressed with Wadham Lodge, they have been a breath of fresh air from the chairman, the manager down to their players,” added Fenn.
“From what I have heard about them, they are a good footballing side because I haven’t had the chance to watch them yet, but it is great that we can have teams come into this division like them. I wish them all the best.
“I know Enfield’s manager Ryan Jessey very well and Scott Curley, their assistant too. He has played for a lot of good sides. I imagine it will be a good footballing contest.
“My boys are aware that with Enfield coming to us on Saturday that we have to perform and we haven’t done that at home much lately, so starting from this weekend we want to make it a fortress.”
Ilford go into that clash following late drama against Tower Hamlets on Monday night.
Former Lithuanian under-21 international Karolis Atutis put the Foxes ahead, but they conceded a sloppy own goal and the match seemed to be heading for a draw.
That was until former Tower Hamlets manager Ajay Ashnike won a stoppage-time penalty, which Chris Lockwood duly converted.
That came just two days after Ilford had lost 2-0 at Southend Manor with Elias Armah-Tackie missing a spot kick.
But the three points on Monday cheered Fenn up and he was thrilled with the response of his side, adding: “We should have come away with a win at Southend Manor, but we got together for a team meeting and had a good chat amongst ourselves.
“We aired a lot of problems and sorted things out and the response on Monday was excellent.”
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