Manor coach stays upbeat
PUBLISHED: 15:00 17 September 2015
New Wilderness outfit host Guernsey on Saturday after suffering heavy defeat at Tonbridge last week
Eton Manor may be bottom of the National League Three South with 147 points scored against them already, but head coach Jamie Connors is confident they will be able to compete in the division when their injury crisis eases.
They welcome Guernsey to the New Wilderness this weekend after suffering an 82-14 loss at Tonbridge Juddian on Saturday.
But despite another heavy defeat, Manor took more positives from that encounter than they did on the opening day of the campaign.
And with their opponents having to jump on a plane to visit Nutter Lane this weekend, Connors hopes his side can make the most of home advantage.
He said: “Guernsey do have a long trip and looking at their results, I think they are probably a team that wins most of their home games, but struggles to go away.
“With them needing to jump on a plane every second week, that has got to be tough. We are at home, where we have a good record over the last few years, so we want to improve our performance again.
“I think we did get better in a lot of areas last week, but the scoreline against Tonbridge doesn’t reflect that. We just need to take each week as it comes really.
“Being at the bottom is a tough place to be and not many players in this team have been in this situation before so it is a shock to the system.
“But I keep saying to the guys I’d much rather be getting a few points against us than going to Romford & Gidea Park, Brentwood or Chingford and playing at places like that so this is a good challenge for us.”
Manor did make improvements last weekend at Tonbridge, but Connors accepts they need to be a lot better in defence.
He believes they are more than capable of scoring tries at this level and that was reflected on Saturday with Elliot Brown and Alex Clarke going over.
Even if it may seem unrealistic with a big injury crisis and having just gone up a league, Connors believes Manor should still approach every game with the belief they can win.
He added: “We’ve got a lot of tries in us and the key thing, as you can probably see from the scorelines, is that we need to shore up our defence a bit.
“We will be working pretty hard on that. Our attacking game has not been too bad and we have been asking questions of opposition teams. The target for me is to go out, do your best and try to win each game.
“That might be unrealistic in some games, but if you don’t set your standards or aims high then you are going to come up short.
“We will give it a good go this weekend and hopefully we are just one good game away from getting some more confidence in the team. Then hopefully we get a few more guys back over the next couple of weeks and you see a much more solid team.”
Manor started well against Tonbridge last weekend and had Brown cross the white line early, but struggled afterwards.
But Connors is remaining upbeat and felt Manor made good strides, especially in the forwards.
He added: “We marked ourselves a one out of 10 the week before against Hertford. We were really poor that day, but would probably have given us a seven on Saturday. We did really well and the scrum was very good.
“We know there are areas where we can improve and we would love to have more players available, but that’s out of our control. We have just got to keep fighting and hope the worm turns.”
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