Ilford ready to shut out prolific Romania
PUBLISHED: 11:00 05 February 2016
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Manager Fenn backs Foxes to make it four clean sheets in a row against league leaders
Ilford boss Allan Fenn wants his team to make it four clean sheets in a row on Saturday, knowing it will help them overcome Essex Senior League leaders FC Romania.
Since losing 3-2 away to Enfield on January 9, the Foxes have yet to concede — an impressive streak of nearly five hours.
But that record is likely to be put to the test on Saturday with Ilford visiting a FC Romania side with 91 league goals already this season, after beating Barking 3-1 in midweek.
Fenn, though, remains confident keeper Chris Clark can collect another shutout this weekend to aid the Foxes’ cause.
“Before the Enfield game, and I still don’t know how we lost that, we also had two clean sheets in a row, so the defence is doing well,” said Fenn.
“Ben Turner coming into the side has given us more consistency at the back and some more
“Even the returning players like Luke McLean have done well, and Edas Valionis and Justas Paulius are coming of age at full back.
“I’m pleased with the defence, but also with how we’re defending as a team. Dean Matthews is coaching the boys well and they are taking it all in.”
Ilford will be hoping to finally get one over on FC Romania having being edged out in recent meetings between the sides.
When they met in September at Cricklefield Stadium, the Foxes were beaten by a winning goal in stoppage time. But Fenn is hoping fortune finally favours his team on Saturday as they look to shore up their aim of a fifth-place finish in the league this season.
“It will be a hard game for us on Saturday because Romania are a very good side technically,” added Fenn.
“The games between us have been close and I’m expecting it to be no different this weekend. We want to give a good account of ourselves against a team who are top because they are good.”
Ilford are currently 14 points behind their rivals in fifth place, but that would cut to 11 points with a win. Two more wins in their games in hand on FC Romania would reduce it to five and leave Ilford right in the title hunt.
But Fenn insists he will not allow himself to get carred away with those thoughts in the closing weeks of the season.
“I knew after we lost to Takeley and Burnham Ramblers that we would not win the league because it would take a lot for us to do it from there,” he said.
“All any manager wants is progress. We’re seven points off last year’s total and there are still 16 games to go. Next year the aim is the title, so I’m happy so far.”
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